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Petal Runner is a slice-of-life Gameboy Advance style RPG about being a digital pet courier

The 'pet' in 'petal runner' is a play on 'pet' as in 'pets' as in 'cats and such'

Brushing a dig-dog in Petal Runner
Image credit: Nano Park Studios

Are Tamagotchis a thing now again? I’m getting a sense they might be, but I’ll always associate them with the nineties. Ah, to return to a simpler time, where kids tripped each other up in the school hallways to steal toys , before Pokémon cards came along and everyone leveled up to stabbings. Sorry, Petal Runner devs, for opening a news article about your lovely wholesome game talking about stabbings. This gorgeous, fuschia-splashed, slice-of-life RPG is, if anything, the antidote to stabbings. In terms of game fatigue, anyway. It won’t cure tetanus, at least I don’t think so.

Petal Runner comes from Nano Park Studios, consisting of Danny Guo and Brandon James Greer, who also runs a popular YouTube channel about pixel art. Here is a man who clearly knows how to make a very tiny square look very nice, then, but I reckon you've already come to that conclusion just by looking at a few screens of the game. PetRun casts you as a motorcycle courier for the titular Petal Runners. You play as Cali, joined by a little fox pal who follows you around. I’m a little wary of foxes as someone who wanted a fennec for years before researching the absolute hell they’re like to live with, but I can deal with a digi-fox.

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You’ll explore the town of Sapphire Valley, the name of which alone is such a knowing wink to Gameboy Advance-era creature collectors that you can be pretty confident what sort of vibes you’re getting here. You’ll play minigames and grow pets, and there may be a nefarious conspiracy of some sort lurking at the heart of the digi-pet craze. There’s certainly a scientist-looking fellow with no hair and bottle-rim glasses, the types most likely to be found at the heart of no-good goings on, say I. Still no release date on this one, but we’ll keep you posted.

We saw this one at Day Of The Devs. You can keep up with all our picks using this here tag.

The flurry of summer games events are now underway! Hit up our Summer Game Fest 2024 hub and our Day Of The Devs roundup for all the news worth caring about from the shows so far.

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