Harold Halibut Releases Promising Demo
Slow Bros Inc, the developers of Harold Halibut, have released a sizeable (54GB) demo of the game that contains the first 1.5 hours of the game that some players have found themselves taking up to 3 hours to complete. Players start the game on an underwater ship that houses the descendants of a community that “fled an Earth on the verge of cold war to find a habitable planet to preserve the human race.” The ship is “city-sized” and expansive enough to have stores, homes, and open areas that you’ll explore in the game. You’ll play as Harold, a lab assistant to the scientist Jeanne Mareaux, who has not given up on launching out the alien sea and finding a new world for the ship’s inhabitants to call home.
In the announcement for the demo, the developers restated that they have been hard at work on the game for 10 years now crafting the puppets and set and 3D scanning them to create the stop-motion aesthetics that set this game apart from others. The time are care put into the game are apparent in the demo as each of the characters has incredible attention to detail. There isn’t one character that looks the same as the last, and they each have a design that feels both unique and cohesive to the next. The voice acting compliments each character by instilling them with a personal identity that puts the term “NPC” to shame. The game may follow Harold, but it’s clear each character has their own story and role that they fill in the community.
There are many ways in which a writer can build their world for their audience, but the writers at Slow Bros. have set the player up to do the work themselves. In lieu of an introduction that familiarizes the audience with the setting and way of life for characters, players are forced to pick up context clues within the ongoing narrative and draw their own conclusions to understand the references within the world. That’s where Harold steps in. His endearing aloofness often prompts other characters to have to explain themselves, intentionally developing Harold’s character while informing the player of life on the ship. This dynamic spawns both a curiosity that feeds into the inherently playful roots of Claymation and an uneasiness perpetuated by what is still unknown.
It's a rare but beautiful experience when a game conveys the passion of its creators when it's played. If the full game is as great as the demo, then this game will surely be a must-play for fans of rich story and undersea adventure! The demo is available on Steam if you’d like to check it out yourself or be sure to wish list if you’d like to stay updated on the full release date.