We all have different ways of dealing with loss. Some of us lash out and hurt others while some of us turn inwards and dwell on that pain. The Mammoth: A Cave Painting [official site] is a free game about loss and how we choose to overcome it.
The Mammoth is the brainchild of several former Yager developers. The team helped birth Spec Ops: The Line before being set to task on the now-canceled Dead Island 2. Tired of seeing their projects canceled or watered down to suit a bottom line, the group wanted to make something on their own, something personal. Together, they founded a new studio, Inbetween Games.
In a chat with Leigh Alexander at Offworld, designer Jan David Hassel said that when the call came in that Dead Island 2 would be delayed indefinitely, “It didn’t take us long to realize that most of us would be fired.” Their response was to make a game “about the inescapability of loss.”
I played the game for a bit today, and going into the game knowing that it was about the grief of its team left me with an uncomfortably personal message.
The Mammoth requires you to protect several baby mammoths from the spears of human hunters. As the people swarmed endlessly around me, my children died. One by one. With nothing left to live for, I tried to run. I tried to find someplace new away from the murderous people.
In a way, that seems like what the folks at Inbetween have done by going indie. You can download The Mammoth from its Itch page.