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Frostpunk devs 11 bit announce fantasy game Creatures Of Ava, in which you befriend animals with a magic flute

Make more pals than Palworld

Befriending two cute creatures by playing a flute tune in Creatures Of Ava.
Image credit: 11 bit studios

11 bit studios are best known for grim games like colony sim Frostpunk, which is all about trying to survive in a world battered by relentless blizzards. But their latest venture - created in partnership with developers Chibig and Inverge Studios, and co-written by Rhianna Pratchett - is drastically different. Titled Creatures Of Ava, it's a fantasy game about saving Pokémon-like creatures, as opposed to, well, imprisoning them and using them for labour (Palworld, I'm looking at you).

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Creatures Of Ava is tipped as a non-violent action adventure, where you "set out to free creatures from an all-consuming life-threatening infection". According to the press release, it's exploring the "tropes of the 'savior complex' and post-colonialism themes that are rarely tackled in games". Judging by the trailer, this looks to be done by banging out a flute to befriend creatures with nice tunes, taking photos of them, and doing a touch of platforming.

Your flute seems to produce some kind of spectral leash, cleansing the creature you've attached it to and any others you entangle while strafing or dodging incoming attacks. There's not a great deal of creature collection on show in the trailer, or much information on how it'll actually work. But we do see some flute befriending, and then a bit where you seem to control a parrot as it soars above a beautiful town. Definitely no legally distinct Pokéballs in sight.

I will say that while it looks rather lovely, I'm a little worried that it might retread familiar save-the-planet themes laid by Alba: A Wildlife Adventure or Abzu or Tchia, heck even Avatar: Frontiers Of Pandora. Will mesmerising a parrot in order to lower a bridge really tell us much about the "savior complex" and post-colonialism? Still, that might just be me being pessimistic and I hope the game proves me wrong when it launches later this year.

Disclaimer: celebrated RPS scribbler Brendan Caldwell has contributed to the writing of Creatures Of Ava.

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