I have a bit of a soft spot for stop motion animation. This will immediately age me, but as a kid I used to play VHS tapes featuring Wallace and Gromit over and over. I’m surprised they kept working after all the abuse. To this day, I still make references to cheese and incorrect pants. With my love of the animation style, it makes sense that a game like Harold Halibut couldn’t escape my eye. It’s a narrative adventure that blends stop motion and narration, telling the tale of humans who have escaped Earth in a massive ship now “submerged in an alien ocean.”
The premise alone is worth some interest, but developer Slow Bros. is going for art as well as substance. According to the developer, Harold Halibut‘s genesis came out of a conversation on stop motion animation and narrative games. Soon after, the developers used their bedrooms to construct “dollhouse sized sets and puppets.” Indeed, Harold Halibut is akin to something like an FMV game, but championing claymation over real-life people and sets.
“Welded metal, textiles sewn against tiny wooden floorboards and clay faces the size of walnuts immerse the player in Harold’s tactile world,” reads the game’s description.
The developer released a lengthy, three-minute story trailer recently. It sets up the story of Harold, a lab assistant who lives aboard an “ark-like” spaceship, the Fedora. The ship left Earth 250 years ago during the Cold War, and now seems to be stuck. Under the ship’s top scientist, Harold works to get the Fedora re-launched so the mission can continue.
Everybody knows the moon is made of cheese
Harold Halibut appears to be early in development. It currently doesn’t have a release window, and the gameplay description is sparse. According to the developer, the game will be fully voiced, with mild puzzles to solve using screwdrivers and machines.
If you’re interested in how Slow Bros. is creating the game’s unique look, the official website has a “making of” teaser to watch.