Forager: A Charming Unfinished Hibernation Game

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Forager

I’ve spent part of the afternoon going for a walk in the real Earth autumn and part of it going for a walk in digital Forager [itch.io link] autumn. I’ll show you the pictures from the digital walk so you can potter along with me, but first, a bit about the game.

Forager is a really charming little game about collecting resources to build a little nest and decorate with mushrooms and so on as you prepare for hibernation. Developers Cat Burton and Nate Gallardo are releasing it in an unfinished state after realising they couldn’t devote the necessary time and resources to fully complete what they’d wanted with the project.

As a result, they say: “you’ll notice some rough edges, some flickering geometry, some missing sounds and so forth. That said, it’s entirely playable and the the core game loop is functional, so please do check it out!” It’s also not being updated/supported and is pay-what-you-want, so you can potter free of charge then decide if you want to support the devs with some cash.

I’d say that it was a pleasing pottering experience with lovely autumnal colours, but definitely not smooth a lot of the time. The thing I noticed most during my time with it was that the camera is incredibly jumpy and doesn’t respond well to the fact that the player is essentially able to climb any surface.

For example, I was clambering along a tree trunk and started to crawl round the side of said trunk to get at some mushrooms growing on the other side. Every time the game recognised me as moving to a new plane/surface the camera angle would switch. When climbing rocky terrain sometimes the camera really freaked out and I’d be swapping between right-way-up, sideways and upside-down camera angles. At points I just needed to hold my finger down on the forward key and ignore the visual feedback I was getting in order to move forward.

So that’s the main warning, but I was also having fun crawling around and finding new bits of the level. There were lily pads after a little waterfall in the stream and over to one side stood an empty tent. I found a blue egg in a bird nest and weird fungus up a tree.

I’m not really sure what to do with my den now, though. I’ve put all the grass in it, but suddenly it won’t accept my mushrooms and I’m not really sure how to hibernate so… I ended up sauntering about and swapping objects that were new and exciting to me for mushrooms that I’d grown tired of having in my inventory. It’s essentially how my handbag works in real life. Today I removed a tangerine and a Sesame Street Grover toy so I could fit a banana in their place.

ANYWAY. Want to come with me on my walk? Use the cursor keys to move left and right through the gallery, or click on the arrows by the header image!

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6 Comments

  1. oyog says:

    “A BEETLE WITH A GLOWING BUTT!”

    Do you folks not have fireflies in the UK? I took them for granted when I lived in the northeast US but I kind of miss them, living in CO.

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      Harlander says:

      I’ve never seen one here, but apparently they’re about.

    • Philippa Warr says:

      I think this is one of those naming confusion things. In the UK we have glow worms and, looking into it, they seem to be called fireflies in some regions, but the ones which emit the light (mostly of the time) are the females who don’t fly, hence not being referred to as fireflies, over here I guess. In Europe, the things that are called fireflies mean the insects which emit a glow or a flash as they fly about. My UK wildlife book is pretty exhaustive in terms of entries and doesn’t list fireflies and there are arguments about whether you really get them in the UK or whether they are just misidentified other insects, but then, if people are calling different species different things that’s just going to add to the confusion.

      TL;DR, I think we’re referring to the same thing but calling it different names :)

    • LTK says:

      I’ve never seen them on mainland europe.

      :(

  2. Conundrummer says:

    I’d like to try to like this, but it seems that, by default, even the maximum mouse sensitivity settings require multiple sweeps across my mousepad to even turn around.

    Since I can’t imagine a developer actually (half)creating and testing a game that’s so infuriatingly frustrating to control, I’ll just assume it’s a fluke with my mouse that doesn’t happen with anything else. Or I’ll just blame it on Unity.

    Weird!

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