I‘m giving the originality award to Kevin Cancienne, the developer of Home Free, for coming up with the most ingenious (yet right under your nose) game premise of the year. We’ve all played survival games, sure. And you’ve probably even played a game or two starring an animal. But to control a struggling, sometimes hungry, most of the time lonely, street dog in a bustling city is giving me a serious case of the I-want-its. And I’m not even a dog person.
So lets go through a quick list of what Home Free is. Graphically, Home Free is low-poly. Perceptually it’s third-person. And genre-wise it’s a survival game. But given the unique predicament of the protagonist as a non-verbal, four-legged abandoned pet in a sprawling, randomly-generated urban jungle, the survival shtick is turned a bit on its head here. You aren’t going to be building campfires and crafting a bow and arrow set. You’re going to have to find protected areas to sleep. You’re going to be scavenging hard through garbage, begging from passersby, or stealing in order to eat. You’re going to have to make serious social choices when confronted with other transient beasts, because the wrong type of confrontation will get you killed. But that isn’t to say there aren’t friends to be made on that enormous concrete square you now call home.
Here’s the trailer. Oh, and did I mention Home Free is on Kickstarter and thus doesn’t actually exist yet? My bad.
If you’re still interested (of course you are!) check out the Kickstarter project page here.