A handcrafted adventure filled with a lot of love and care.
Games are made in a variety of ways: cell shaded, pixels or full on 3D graphics. Once in a while though, there are games that belong in a league of their own. Harold Halibut challenges the status quo – it’s a truly one-of-a-kind adventure game. Everything in the game is built from dollhouse sets and puppets that the developers created. This seamlessly translates to the game where everything has an authentic stop motion feel. We have seen attempts at similar techniques in the past but nothing impressed me the way Harold Halibut did.
The story of Harold Halibut is just as impressive as its visuals. Harold is a young lab assistant who has lived underwater all of his life. The wreck used to be a spaceship which was used to escape the cold war four generations prior As Harold, you will explore the ''Fedora I'' and help out the community found there. On the way, you will get to talk to some endearing characters – they made the demo fly by to me. The dialogue is rather excellent, focusing a lot on funny winks and nods overall. The ultimate goal in Harold Halibut is to find a spaceship which would allow you leave this strange underwater planet. After ages being stuck between the fauna of this world, it is time to get out and see the wider depths of space.
Being an adventure game, you will walk around, interact with the environment, talk with characters and solve objectives to get the story moving. Nothing about the gameplay felt particularly obtuse or hard to grasp. Clear directions are present which clearly describe what it needs you to do. Taking a small detour or clicking the right dialogue can do wonders very fast. The demo showcased a sequence where Harold was required to find a material for professor Jeanne Mareaux. You meet a shop owner who is heartbroken about his current relationship. By helping him and finding out more details, you get access to the space rock you so desperately need.
Overall I am quite intrigued by what the developers are trying to achieve. The seamless stop motion game developer Slow Bros. is creating is impressive and tells a story that raises some questions. I'm very excited to see those answered as Harold Halibut seems proper otherworldly. Naturally, we will have to see if the title can stay novel through it's running time, but at least the benefit of doubt is here. Get ready for this exciting new adventure game!