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Dear God! It's The Deer God, A 2D Platformer About Karma

Here’s what I know about The Deer God: it’s a platformer made in Unity in which you play as a hunter who has been turned into a deer. It’s 3D but mimicking pixel art, which gives it a neat, voxel-y style. It has co-op. The music is pretty. It has a Kickstarter project, which is almost halfway towards its goal with 20 days to go.

Here is what the Kickstarter page says about The Deer God: it will “challenge your religion and your platforming skills.” It is inspired by “being outside in the woods, building forts, seeing deer standing motionless in the forest and chasing after them.” It is, writes the creator, “dedicated to a small cardinal, whom I ran over recently. I feel bad about it – so I’ve decided to give him a second life within this game.”

The Kickstarter video is embedded below.

I can’t tell how flippant some of the description on the Kickstarter project is, but the bit about the small cardinal is connected at least to the game’s mechanics based on karma and reincarnation.

Karma in the game is very important. How you behave will completely affect the type of animal you are. You might focus on getting dark karma skills – these are destructive powers that you can unleash on the world and its denizens. The Deer God doesn’t approve with of this type of modus operandi, FYI. You might be reincarnated as a plant and eaten by a bunny in your next round!

Reincarnation is when you die – and usually when you die, you become a baby deer again. If you have been doing too many naughty things, there is a chance that you will be reincarnated as something random, and that something could be eaten by something else. After that, unfortunately, you might have to start over from the beginning!

It sounds like there won’t be a finite goal in the game, but rather that your challenge is to survive for as long as possible. There are objectives within that – to become an elder deer, to reach karmic balance – but it sounds like it won’t end with a fight against an enormous Deernietzsche. Mores the shame.

Also, given the themes, is the creepy moment when the deer breeds while locking eyes with the player a checkpoint? Does making Bambi decrease the likelihood of being reborn as a plant?

In any case, the game looks pretty and I like pretty things, don’t you? Screenshots, art, details of other features can be found through at the Deer God Kickstarter page.

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Graham Smith

Editor-in-chief

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