Someone emailed recently to ask whether I had played Hybrid Animals [Steam page]. I hadn't. It's a game about combining animals with other animals to create different combinations with different stats. I think they're then supposed to do battle but the game is still very much in beta and there were no servers when I looked so I was just fiddling with the creature creation side of things. I thus spent twenty minutes trying to weaponise a giraffe.
At first I was idly combining animals from the lists just to see what happened. Santa is one of the "animals" so I figured a Santa-gator might be cool:
There's also a narwhal so the temptation was to see if I could make a unicorn. Adding the resultant hybrid to my list and then interbreeding a bit I ended up with a kind of mutant pronged horse but not really a unicorn.
I was about to leave and mark the game as one to come back to when it's further along but then I combined a crab and a giraffe. The result was a "Vicious Spotted Scuttle" which looked entirely adorable and like it wanted to help you carry your things.
I figured perhaps it would be better if it was taller and cross bred the hybrid with a pure giraffe. It became a Beach Strider which was pretty much exactly the same as the Spotted Scuttle but with longer legs. But it still looked too friendly. Perhaps it should have teeth?
The Mutant Chomper could probably crush your head in its jaws but it still had a lovely smile so I set about trying to weaponise its last remaining neutral area: the bum. Scorpions have attack bums so I added one of those into the mix.
Unfortunately it just seemed to turn the creature green. Scrapping the critter (the game called it a Monstrosity by that point) I decided to try again but with a creature with a really angry bum: the wasp.
Now, not only was it weaponised in the face and the bum and the feet, it could also fly! This was excellent. But was there anything left to do? I figured the final form of my new pet should also be able to defend against attacks from above so I cross-bred it with a fork. Forks are not animals, but the game doesn't seem to care about that. The fork added a really stabby mohican and the creature became a Swamp God, although I call it Sebastian.
Genetics is well easy.
With regard to the rest of the game, I'm just going to add the caveats here: this is a beta so a whole bunch of stuff hasn't been added yet or is a work in progress, I also didn't find any servers with other players on which to actually test out our creations relative to one another so I was just playing against bots, the game mode I did play was deathmatch and it turned out there are weapon pickups in that so my pronged head counted for naff all - I needed health and speed to survive and dodge, so it wasn't *quite* what I'd thought in terms of how you use the animals or get them to fight each other. It's £4.99 on Steam so I'd probably advise holding off on it until there's a bit more in there or you've got enthusiastic friends to play against or you have a particular yen to crossbreed blocky creatures. For me it's an amusing character generation tool at the moment but not one I'd spend a fiver on. I'll try to check back in when it's had more work to see what's what.