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Fugl expands beyond the skies and deep into the waters below

Dolphins were monkeys

Lovely voxel bird sim Fugl is now a lovely voxel fish, seal, dolphin and other underwater creature sim, too. The little voxel relax-o-thing from Team Fugl is still in early access because they just can't seem to stop adding things. Today's Underwater Update does what it says on the tin, and lets you explore beneath the waves and through underwater caverns as you see fit. The waters of its many biomes are populated by 42 new creatures, most of which can be transformed into just by flying close to. Take a peek at some of the sea-life in the little update trailer below.

Fugl has been around for a couple years now, in one form or another, and Pip was positively besotted with it. Having had a chance to try it for myself (wrapped in a blanket and armed with a mug of hot chocolate to ward off the winter chill) I can see why. It's immediately relaxing. Flying around is fun and intuitive, and swooping through gaps in the rocks or between trees is a thrill. And if you manage to crash, you just go comically ragdoll for a moment, and can right yourself once you've got some solid ground under your feet. Swimming is just as accessible and simple. The underwater environments don't offer nearly as much diversity of flora and fauna as the surface and skies, but it's nice to explore underwater caverns.

If I had to level any critique at this update, it's that it's sometimes a bit tricky to stay underwater. Getting down there is easy enough - fly up high, tuck in your wings and dive - but you'll end up floating to the surface unless you transform into something aquatic. Unfortunately, transformation requires you to fly (or swim) close to the creature you want to be, and the reflective surface of the water makes picking out a target under the waves difficult. Oh, and jumping out onto land as a seal just saw me helplessly stuck, instead of being able to flop adorably across the ice on my belly. So, two small grumbles then.

This update also includes a new Frost biome with some animals of its own (including reindeer, apparently), reworked ground movement for birds/legged animals and a more detailed soundscape for caves, tunnels and under the waves. It's just a big ol' ball of relaxation, and there's VR support due by the time Fugl leaves early access later this year. Oh, and you can make your own biomes and animals too and share them in the Steam Workshop, just in case there wasn't enough here to soothe your soul.

Fugl is due to launch properly this year, but you can grab it now in early access on Steam, Humble or Itch for £6/€10/$10. It's published by Kotori Studios.

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Dominic Tarason