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Anecdotal adventure Welcome To Elk is out now

Welcome To Elk recognises we’re probably all overdue a trip. Oh, a change of scenery would be nice, but it’s the people who make the place – the strange, sombre and often surreal stories from folks we’d never otherwise get to meet. While there’s still a global pandemic going on in the real world, developers Triple Topping are taking us on a trip to their storybook island starting today.

Sometimes funny, sometimes tragic, sometimes a little mix of the two – you could say a lotta things about the picturebook island of Elk, but you probably can’t say it’s boring.

As young carpenter Frigg, you’ll be pottering around the island of Elk, meeting new people and helping them tackle their problems. The island itself is painted as a lovely colouring book, swapping into bespoke minigames every time a stranger has a challenge they need help with – be it it pouring a perfect pint, assembling Rube Goldberg contraptions, or tossing beer bottles at helpless fish. Regular island stuff, obvs.

Thing is, though, while Elk and its inhabitants may be entirely fictional, the stories they tell are very much real. Rather than being written on the spot, every story in Welcome To Elk has roots in real-world experience – whether real or relayed through first-hand accounts. A traveller who hopped from Greenland to rural California, with a brief detour in almost smuggling diamonds through India. Their friend, Anders, a man who’s died three times at least.

It pulls me right back into a melancholy nostalgia for the nights I spent hostelling in Utrecht, listening to travellers from all corners over a shitty €5 bottle of wine, taking intermittent breaks as – one-by-one – they popped down the street to get blazed. Of sitting with a stranger in the midst of a packed Berlin exhibition hall, listening as someone tries to piece their life together to an absolute stranger.

Man. 2020 really has been lonely, huh.

If you do want to nip off for an island getaway, however, Welcome To Elk is out now on Steam for £11.39/€12.49/$14.99.

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Natalie Clayton

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Writes news when everyone else is asleep, sometimes

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