I don’t know if you’ve heard, but everybody wants to be a cat. Apparently a cat’s the only cat who knows where it’s at, see. With that in mind, I don’t think there have been nearly enough video games that let us play as felines.
Clearly, this is a sentiment the developers of new indie title Peace Island have taken to heart, as the open world game is all about you taking on the role of a cat to solve mysteries and uncover the secrets of the missing humans. There’s not one part of that sentence I didn’t enjoy.
Peace Island is the work of creator Eric Blumrich and a small team of devs, which apparently includes alumni from Prune and a little-known title called Grand Theft Auto V. The game’s Patreon page describes it as “an open-world, story-driven adventure game, currently under development for the PC, Mac, and Oculus VR system.”
The developers promise an ambitious sounding mix of science fiction, alternative history, and mystery, as players take control of the nine cats who live on the island, after waking up to find their human companions have vanished.
Peace Island will forgo combat in favour of an experience that focuses on puzzle solving, discovery, and exploration – so expect a title more in the vein of The Witness, but with cats. It also sounds as if we’ll be able to experience ” multiple divergent storylines” as we approach the “ultimate decision” – are the humans worth bringing back?
That’s a fairly lofty question for a game that lets you play as a creature that spends most of its free time licking its own butt, but I’m into it (the concept of the game that is, not licking my own butt).
Peace Island clearly has its sights aimed high, as it also looks to “expand the emotional palette of gaming, and bring a bit of creativity back to an industry obsessed with monetization, loot boxes, and exploiting properties that have long since ceased to capture the imagination.”
I’m all for that, but I could live without the developers acting like we’ve suddenly stopped getting genuinely great and impactful video games. I mean, have they played Celeste, Tetris Effect, or The Outer Wilds?
Regardless, it looks like development on the game is progressing pretty well. Blumrich recently shared an update to Twitter comparing the same in-game location, one year apart. Check it out below.
The same spot on #PeaceIsland, one year ago, and today.
— Eric Blumrich (@EricBlumrich) July 14, 2019
Peace Island is aiming to launch next year, but as ever, I’d advise approaching any crowdfunded game with a degree of skepticism till you’ve seen something concrete. Personally, I really love the idea and hope it comes to fruition.
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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.