Written by Daikon
There are many things to consider when making games, such as the story, graphics, music, and so on. For solo developers, it is necessary to prepare all of that on their own, which takes a lot of time and energy. If they have tight deadlines, developers may need to consider shortening the length of the story or reducing the number of characters. But some developers find a way to make it all come together, such as sewohayami in 百獣エスケープ, released in English as 100animalease.
100animalease is a narrative-based puzzle game by sewohayami where you play as a young girl who befriends up to one hundred animals in a strange facility. And incredibly, this project was made in only one hundred days. Despite the short development time, there are a lot of things to see and do in the game. Each animal has their own personality and backstory, and you can see the creator's passion infused in the writing.
The game begins when you, a lone human girl, get up from your bed in a prison cell. Owls and mice call out to you. Apparently, in this world, you can talk to animals.
As you progress through the story, you'll find that you're on a ship, and some animals have started overheating from their rapid intellectual growth and have become violent. You must find a way to deal with these overheated animals and escape from the ship. This story is about rescuing and being rescued by animals, and going on an adventure together with them.
Although the story can occasionally get quite dark, the conversations with the animals are bouncy and filled with casual jokes. Some animals give you quests, and these light asides balance out the darker story elements. There are one hundred chances to befriend animals, so players are constantly being rewarded. It feels good!
One animal that you can recruit is a shoebill, who stares at you and will not answer when you first encounter it standing next to a trash can. After you give up trying to talk to it, you find some trash nearby, pick it up, and put it in the trash can. The shoebill recognizes your kind act and becomes your friend. This is an optional quest that does not affect the main story, but it helps to fill in your silent protagonist’s personality. You can clear this quest without really thinking about it. There is always something small that the player can do or work towards to feel a sense of progress.
The game’s appeal is found not only in the conversations with these characters. There are plenty of mini-games that you can find through exploration. My personal favorite is the sloth vegetable gathering game. It is a crane game using a sloth, but you need to cheer this sloth on because it can lose motivation easily. This concept is too cute! If you earn a certain number of points, the sloth becomes your friend and it follows you around. But don’t worry, you can still play this mini-game at any time.
Although the scale of 100animalease is an epic tale with a huge cast, the writing captures sewohayami’s playfulness and passion. If you play this game, you might forget that it was made in only one hundred days. We are looking forward to what sewohayami makes in the future!
You can get 100animalease in Japanese and English on Steam, Android, or iOS. You can follow sewohayami on Twitter and check out the rest of their games on Unity Room. And you can see us play 100animalease on stream!