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by Ian Michael Waddell profile


(based on 16 ratings)
1 member review

About the Story

This is the story of Charlie Stewart, nine-year-old Human child.

Inside this ordinary nine-year-old Human child are four animals from the Forest, working tirelessly to keep YOUR Taiga Federation safe from Human intervention.

To read the rest of this story, please enter one Taiga dollar into the Forest vending machine to receive your exclusive Taiga Digest!

Game Details

Language: English (en)
First Publication Date: October 1, 2018
Current Version: Unknown
License: Freeware
Development System: Twine
TUID: vp5xvfqvycyz2q3r


3rd Place - 24th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2018)

Editorial Reviews

McT's Interactive Fiction Reviews

Just after the sacrifice of a human child to the Forest God, the animals realize they might have made a mistake. Someoneís gonna come looking. To that end, they create a lifesize replica of the child powered by four animals inside it. Itís up to you to save the Taiga.

What follows is a highly branching choice game that is much much bigger than it first seems. Our first choice is to select which four animals are going to populate the human suit. Our selection informs some of the text and choices from that point onwards, the game branches outwards. The game does frequently resort to one of my least favorite choice mechanics: big lumps of expository text revealed paragraph by paragraph or sentence by sentence on clicking a random word highlighted in the text. I canít help thinking Ė whatís the point?

But this is a minor nitpick in a funny, clever, branching, complex, well implemented game. 9/10.
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Breakfast Reviews
The story opens with an emergency meeting of forest animals. (Oh, how cute! Are we doing "The Wind in the Willows"?) Apparently, humans are about to invade the forest in search of the human child the animals sacrificed to the Forest God last night. (Wait, what? Is going to be like "Children of the Corn" meets "Animal Farm"?) So now the council is going to ... send in a replica of the child with four small animals controlling it from inside. It's more like "Watership Down" meets "Voltron" by way of "Calvin & Hobbes".

The possibilities aren't literally endless, but they certainly feel that way. And I can say that after having run through at least twenty iterations that I have yet to see everything.

Some of the situations are downright cartoonish, and the dialogue can occasionally be hilariously stilted; however, I am convinced that much of this is a deliberate, stylistic choice meant to accentuate the humour. I think it works pretty well.
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ďAnimaliaĒ is a charming choice-based game about a group of animals who attempt to infiltrate human society to thwart its encroachment on their forest. The player controls a team of four animals in a human suit who attempt to pass themselves off as an ordinary human boy, though there are inevitably complications to their plan.

You might be interested in this game if youíd like to play a well-written, polished game with lots of replay value. (Thatís admittedly fairly general, but I think this game will be appealing to most people.) Score: 9
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Number of Reviews: 1
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
A richly responsive game about animals occupying a human body, November 19, 2018
by MathBrush
Related reviews: about 1 hour
This was one of the best and most-talked-about games form IFComp 2018.

I played through this one once during the comp and about 6 or 7 times afterwards.

This game has some of the greatest responsivity I've ever seen in a choice game. You make a choice between several different characters to inhabit 4 regions of a robot-child's body. Each area of the body has 3 choices.

Throughout the game, the character inside a given area will talk, and there are 3 variants every time this happens. In addition, there is a point where any two characters can talk to each other, which gives (I believe) around 90 combinations, some of which are merged but still very impressive. There are multiple pathways through everything.

Basically, this is a combinatorial explosion game, which are usually very short because it's impossible to make them long. This is a long game, though, so that means the author worked incredibly hard.

It also made me laugh a lot at different points, literally laughing out loud (for instance when (Spoiler - click to show)Charlie the robot is standing in the toilet flushing his feet over and over until mom comes in).

I'm giving it 4 stars just because I felt that, although my choices mattered a lot, it was hard for me to make and execute plans. I tried so many times just to get to Martin's house, even with the author's help, and I wish I could have known better how to do that. But this is an incredible achievement of a game.

If you enjoyed Animalia...

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This is version 3 of this page, edited by imw on 20 November 2018 at 12:21am. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item