When you spend half your day glued to Twitter, you get used to the occasional double- or triple-take. But I don’t think anything’s ever made me stop and shout as much as stumbling upon Familiars – a browser-based monster-catching MMO that developer Loam has somehow managed to cram into a video embed, letting you embark on an honest-to-god online RPG without ever leaving Twitter.
Unfortunately for the post, the magic trick doesn’t seem to work through tweet embeds, which instead link to the game’s official site. But click through to Twitter proper and you’ll find the game fully playable over on Jack Dorsey’s Hellsite regardless of whether you’re on a browser, on phone, or using alternative Twitter clients like TweetDeck.
just smuggled my ENTIRE GAME into this "video" embed tweet, enjoy https://t.co/tYhXidt2Ur
— 𝕃𝕆𝔸𝕄 ʟ5 💧🌱 (@ClayLoam) December 11, 2020
More than just a neat trick, Familiars is a fully functional pseudo-MMO with monster battles, character customisation and even online bloody multiplayer with PVP and all. Everything is done by clicking on the screen – and while this makes movement a little finicky (am I dragging or clicking screen quarters?), the menu-driven form makes the rest of the game plays pretty damn flawlessly. Even if there’s no proper text chat, there’s the option to give passers-by a little “howdy”, and I think that’s beautiful.
As it stands though, I think it’s pretty bloody cool that my chronic doomscrolling through politics and videogame discourse can be interrupted by a lovely little monster. It’ll pay to see how Twitter responds, but if it sticks, I’d love to see more of these kinda games floating care-free through the social media ether – a pleasant little pick-me-up drifting onto my feed every now and again.
Wouldn’t that be nice?