Videogamedunkey’s First Published Game Will Be Animal Well

A few months ago, Jason Yevgeniy Gastrow, better known as videogamedunkey, announced a new publishing company with his wife Leah 'Leahbee' Gastrow. Bigmode started in September 2022, focusing on bringing high-quality indie games to those who'd love them most.

Fastfoward to yesterday during Dunkey’s Best of 2022 video and we now know what Bigmode will publish first. Animal Well, the spooky pixel Metroidvania game that’s been a passion project of solo developer Billy Basso will be published by Bigmode.

"We're publishing Animal Well, baby!" Dunkey confirmed in yesterday’s video. "This was one of the very few games at E3 this year that caught my eye, and after playing it and getting to know the developer Billy Basso, we feel so lucky to be publishing Animal Well."

Animal Well was announced early last year as a game that aims to recreate the feel of a survival horror game in a Metroidvania. The player is a teeny tiny blob in a dark, spooky world that's full of critters. Some are helpful and can be manipulated to solve puzzles, while others are just hungry. And they can be hard to spot too–note the cranes that seem like they're part of the background but are actually trying to gobble the player up. There are also boss fights against giant animals like sea horses, chameleons, and ghost cats.

The player doesn't really have any weapons, and while you can find multiple items that will have various uses, your first defense against hungry beasts is to run and hide.

Animal Well will also have a particular focus on secrets. That's part of the reason why Basso has taken over five years to create Animal Well. The other part is that the engine is entirely made from scratch, allowing him to generate gorgeous pixel landscapes and custom animations you won't find anywhere else.

Animal Well will come to PlayStation and PC via Steam sometime in the near future. This game seems perfect for the Switch, so I wouldn't be surprised to hear of a Switch version sometime down the line if Animal Well sees success on those first two platforms.

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