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Shelter's Platforming Spin-off Paws Released

I enjoy cuteness tinged with tragedy, but there is a certain line past which I feel the need to be mean and cynical to balance things up a bit. I mean, if you’re going to be tugging at my heart strings and squeezing my eyes for some juice, at least be decent about it.

Paws [official site], a standalone spinoff from Shelter 2, came out today, together with an “interactive book” called “The Lonesome Fog.” You will never believe how many lynx cubs die a tragic, painful death in this new story trailer!

Not one. Not a single bloody one.

Even YouTube knows what’s up. Look what it recommended me. (I don’t have an account and I delete cookies, so these are not based on my youtube history)

I mean, the dog’s owner died, isn’t that sad? Don’t you want to see what happens next? It’s going to be heartbreaking, you’re going to admire the bravery of this little hero and you’re going to believe the world is a beautiful place after all. All of which could be said about Paws, too: “a story about friendship and the strength to overcome overwhelming odds” that will let players take control of a small and fragile lynx cub.

Still, the game is not going to be Shelter 2 with a new skin and map. Paws is a platformer, and you have a companion to help you overcome obstacles and solve puzzles. I appreciate that devs Might And Delight are trying to shake things up a bit.

The Lonesome Fog is also something quite new: the devs describe it as an interactive diorama, or a living book, and it can be purchased separately. It’s a short story of about 20 pages: each one with a few words and a gorgeous semi-animated drawing

At the end of the day, it’s still a ruse to get you to spill tears over fictional animals. But I guess I could buy it. For my sister. And I should probably read it by myself first. Just, to make sure there’s nothing inappropriate for a 2-year-old.

(Almost nothing in this post is true. I cried when I finished Shelter, like everyone else. Dammit.)

Paws is out now on Steam for Windows and Mac, priced £10.99/$14.99/€14.99. The Lonesome Fog can be bought separately for £3.99/$4.99/€4.99 or as part of the “Pitter Patter” edition.

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