When I was a kid, Garfield was a funny, lazy, fat cat with a penchant for lasagna and an adorable friendship with a human called Jon, and a cast of other loveable characters.
Garfield was not, to the best of my recollection, an eldritch abomination with a single-minded desire for chaos and destruction… and lasagna. I could have been watching the cartoon all wrong of course, but never did I expect an interpretation of Garfield as dark and twisted as what you’re about to see.
I should never have underestimated the internet.
The incredible (and deeply disturbing) video above is from pixel artist Lumpy Touch. Inspired by a series of creepy Garfield sketches from nightmare merchant William Burke, Lumpy has transformed the loveable cat and his world into an unsettling Game Boy stealth horror adventure in which Jon is relentlessly stalked by a mutated feline that was once Garfield.
Or maybe this was always Garfield? Who can say at this point. All I know is that this is more terrifying than the Bill Murray Garfield movies, and that’s really saying something.
The 13 minute video is quite honestly one of the best pieces of work I’ve seen all year, even if it does make me want to cry in the shower. Poor Jon has found himself trapped in a pixellated world that’s equal parts The Thing, and Alien Isolation, as a constantly mutating Garfield scuttles through the house demanding lasagna and picking off every one of Jon’s friends, including poor old Odie the dog.
Lumpy Touch has absolutely nailed the Game Boy aesthetic, from the blocky loading screens to the HUD at the top of the screen that displays health, weapons, and a bar that tells Jon whether he’s detected or hidden.
While I’m mostly horrified by what I’ve seen, I would absolutely play this if it was a real game, and then immediately soil my trousers. Based on the brief scenes that make up the video above, it does seem like this “game” has all the makings of a classic survival horror.
We have to explore a house with limited weapons and resources, avoid Garfield, find alternate routes, and attempt to save our friends. A screen at the end even implies that the game – if it were real – has alternate endings, with the one presented in the video very much the worst case scenario, from what I can gather.
I never thought I’d find myself campaigning for a retro style survival horror stealth game starring Garfield, but life comes at you fast. Given how much Lumpy Touch’s video seems to have taken off, I’d imagine it won’t be long till someone turns it into an actual game.
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Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.