I think the reason that I like Screenshot Saturday so much is that it necessarily makes us focus on the little things in games. All those background vistas and assets that are easily overlooked when you’re actually playing a game instead of happily watching gifs of all the hard work that’s going into them. This week, then: a shy cardboard buddy, an absolutely gorgeous forest, and a spellbook companion.
Oftentimes, this narrow focus also has the effect of making everything seem very calm. Take, for example, this hedgehog:
They're cute and I love them, but their gentle ear twitches might not properly portray the feel of Pile Up!, the game they're from. According to its website, it's a "1 to 4 player co-op 3D platformer" which reads to me as something much more chaotic. Hopefully our besnouted friend doesn't get too jostled.
Similarly, a lot of these in-progress shots appeal to me just because they seem like places I would like to go. Case in point, here’s some kind of hidden door, surrounded by beautiful pink trees and beautiful pink clouds, though the latter do cast some ominous shadows.
It’s a place you’ll find in Star Renegades, a roguelite RPG about rebels fighting an evil authoritarian empire. Maybe not the best holiday spot, but those trees might just make up for it. According to their Steam page, developers Massive Damage are shooting to release early next year, and there are a lot of giant robots involved (including the one up there in the header image).
Here's a slight cheat, because it’s not from the developers themselves but rather an extremely good Twitter account called Wholesome Games. It's worth it, though, because they've collected a bunch of bits together from Descend, a narrative-y, puzzle-y RPG that’s currently crowdfunding on Kickstarter.
Uncover ruins and ancient secrets deep below the earth in Descend by @TwinspellS. Among many cool features is a spellbook, which your character, Faye, uses for almost everything: journal entries, maps, spells, taking notes on expeditions, and pressing flowers. #screenshotsaturday pic.twitter.com/vFLgUmpdnD— Wholesome Games (@_wholesomegames) May 4, 2019
Crowdfunding caveats abound, but this is one of those games that I really want to be pulled off. Sure, what I really want to do is press flowers, a thing I can do in real life, but what’s the point if I’m not a prodigious tiefling child with an adorable boulder friend?