While 2021 was a pretty crappy year overall, for anthro gaming titles it was certainly a renaissance. It also did an excellent job curb stomping my 2018 statements that visual novels seem to be the genre of choice for anthro game developers. In 2021 we had a Metroid-vania mixed with a brawler in Ursa Nominated FIST. We had an isometric top-down combat adventure in Ursa Nominated Death’s Door. Now we have a game that is a narrative and art focused 2D grid exploration and creativity game in Chircoy: A Colorful Tale. Unfortunately this one didn’t get a nomination, because I would not have complained if it did.
This game is interestingly one I would recommend to furries who are artists more than gamers. While it doesn’t require being an artist by any means, and traditional gamers would be able to complete the story just fine, the narrative has more reflection on the power of being a creative type and the stress of societal expectations that comes with artistic pursuits. Imposter syndrome, having people demand things from you for exposure, and other such tropes in the artist world are addressed through your character’s trials.
There is a full world to explore and color to your heart’s content and it's more about the journey than the conflict. But there is no art without some struggle. While your character named after your favorite dish may have started their adventure wanting to wield the magic brush of this world, heavy is the hand who wields.
To avoid spoilers stop reading at Art within the Art
Dorset police are warning of the impact on young children of videos related to Huggy Wuggy, an anthropomorphic antagonist in the independently-developed horror game Poppy Playtime, released last year. The game itself is reminiscent of Five Nights at Freddy's: Security Breach and has been rated 12+ by Common Sense Media. An official plush toy with Velcro paws was released mid-March.
Media featuring the character is proliferating, including a depiction of Huggy's reassembly on TikTok and 'Free Hugs', a multi-verse song from the monster's point of view. Reports indicate that the friendly nature of the character's name seems to be allowing their content to bypass filtering that would usually defend young viewers from such disturbing content, similar to issues before YouTube's COPPA implementation.
New Lucky’s Tale is through and through a 3D Platformer. It’s odd to play a game that so easily fits into one game genre after playing so many hybrids, but this game is what it is and it does it well. Each level has four challenges to complete: finishing the level, finding the hidden page, collecting the hidden letters L-U-C-K-Y in one run, and collecting 100 paw coins in the level. The coins can be used to buy new clothes for your character as well.
This game has a very light difficulty. If you want to introduce someone to the 3D Platformer genre this would be a good game to do so. By the time I had finished with the game I had gained a life count in the 60s. I don’t remember any games that I was able to acquire a 1-man count that high on the first play through. Extra lives are plentiful, and even the most challenging content that comes post-credits, the difficulty never gets higher than maybe being three quarters the way through a modern Mario game like Odyssey.
But if you’re fine with a relaxing and atmospheric platformer with fun and memorable characters, this one will not disappoint.
When some Western furries hear about anthropomorphic content from China they may typically think of web pages that sell knock off fursuits, but F.I.S.T. is here and gives that stereotype a good solid punch in the face. This original property developed by the Eastern developer of Bilibili for the PlayStation (4 & 5) and PC pounds in the action and exploration of any player willing to fight on behalf of the furtizens being oppressed by the Legion’s mechanical beings.
Furtizens, by the way is not my word, but the game’s own neologism describing the furry citizens. It is such a simple word, and it amazes me that of all things a game would be the etymology of it and not from popularization from furry fans (visa vi: fursona). The story’s main conflict is on two rabbit characters: Ray and Cicero.
It is one of three furry games I played released in 2021, and is certainly going on my list of nominations for this year’s Ursa Major. It is a game of two main elements that have been blended together quite well. Combat is intimate and has the feel of a brawler game of old like a more polished Double Dragon, but it takes place in an open and explorable world where your weapons can double as traversal items, putting it in the Metroid space. So it’s part brawler and part metroidvania and it blends these two elements seamlessly.
It is well known to many Flayrah readers that there is at least one of our contributors that has a habit surrounding a game by the name of Fortnite. They usually write reviews for movies and not games, so this is no big deal. That third person battle royale shooter was a spin off of its inspiration PUBG: Battlegrounds. Given its more stylized graphics and quirky building mechanics, Fortnite became a powerhouse and caught on in the consumer markets much to the chagrin of those who like the more realistic and rough stylings of PUBG.
But if it’s anything that the battle royale genre teaches you, it is that just because you’re the first to hit the ground, doesn’t mean you’ll be the last one standing.
Regardless, if there is one thing for sure most of this site’s target audience can agree on is that neither of those games is really “furry”. Sure there are skins in Fortnite that let you dress up and you can write an article listing them out for the fur-curious gamers playing it, if you really want to. But it is very certain that the characters fighting it out in the battle in these games are very much homosapiens. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
Luckily for furs in 2021, a new battle royale game was released officially that may appeal more toward the anthro enthusiast. Super Animal Royale is a game of genetically modified animal folks fighting it out in a dilapidated Disney-esque amusement park called Super Animal World to try and be the best of up to 64 contestants thrown into this battle of the death by being the last animal standing.
Hello and welcome to the November episode of Digging Up Positivity. October and November are traditionally busy months filled with all sorts of conventions and events, and boy does it show in our overview. We got a lot of fundraisers for various charities all over the world this time! Which brings us to our featurette: Joe G. Bear, our American friend who is one of those wonderful people behind Team Tony, one that is working so hard to raise funds against this terrible disease of ALS [Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis]!
But first we have the other charity news, followed by some animation news including Disney’s Zootopia+ and of course after all of these things, we will find out who has won that wonderful Thabo Meerkat T-shirt ‘I am just a mere kat’.
So now, on with the show!
This one we stumbled across on Twitter, of all places! Little Kitty, Big City is a new on-line game created by Wholesome Games. “You’re a curious little kitty with a big personality, on an adventure to find your way back home. Explore the city, make new friends, wear delightful hats, and leave more than a little chaos in your wake. After all, isn’t that what cats do best?” Ours certainly do. The official web site has a preview video and lots more information too.
Death’s Door is a game where you play as a crow who has been tasked with reaping a soul. However, things become complicated as someone rips one of your assigned souls from your grasp. This leaves you on a quest to hunt down some monstrous beings who are doing everything they can to stall their egress from the world of the living.
Gameplay-wise it has the exploration and dungeon crawling elements of a Zelda game. However, the large boss fights are punishing and far more difficult than the Nintendo faire. They seem closer to Dark Souls boss fights in terms scale— but not quite as brutal, a nice moderate difficulty.
I honestly hope this one wins the Ursa Major award for gaming in 2021.
Usually, I don’t have a horse in these races, as most of the games I get an opportunity to play are in a backlog from prior years. Luckily, as a furry, I don’t ever feel compelled to keep up with the Joneses of the world and consume the latest titles. Instead I play anthro games as my audience votes on which one they would like to see me play. So it is rare that I get to play a game in the year it came out.
This treat of a game was published in July of this year, developed by Acid Nerve and published by Devolver Digital. It is available on PC and XBox consoles. And this October the voters decided this would be a good game to play. You know, death is spooky. However, the game is not of the horror genre.
Changed, originally released in April 2018, is a surprisingly-difficult, action, puzzle game made by DragonSnow with background music composed by Shizi. While not overtly sexual, this game is certainly risqué with plenty of fetish undertones as, instead of deaths, your failures result in your transformation into a latex furry. Since June 2020, buying Changed will also give you access to English version of Changed-Special, the still-unfinished reworking of the original game which contains new rooms, transformations and some updated graphics.
Released on PC 2019, Later Alligator is part visual novel, part mini-game puzzler game with fantastic art direction and characterization. You play as a hired hand trying to help Pat the alligator discover who is trying to off them. You explore this reptilian version of New York City to interview as many of Pat’s relatives as you can. Each unlocks a minigame that you will need to defeat before they will give you clues to what plot is afoot.
Mechanically the game requires multiple playthroughs to find everyone and do everything, and it knows this. In a way it has a repetitive three act structure like Majora’s Mask, where you have to make notes on who you spoke to and who you missed out on. However the gameplay is more like The Neverhood where the animated world you explore is broken up by quick puzzles and minigames.
If you like puzzles and talking with alligators of a very memorable persuasion, then this is the game for you. This title fell under the radar for most furries and even myself, as I think it holds its own against all the games that were nominated for the Ursa Majors in 2019. Of the three titles I played on the list: Untitled Goose Game, Winds of Change, and Blacksad - I think this one was better as it held its charm from start to finish. It was not too short, nor too long.
On the plus side, the Switch version was released this year; we could nominate that for 2021.
Below the fold I’ll discuss the writing, which will go into spoiler territory. If you want to discover the twists for yourself, please do not read further.
As it turns out, Flayrah never reviewed Five Nights at Freddy’s when it was released to much fanfare in 2014. But to be fair it never won an Ursa Major, getting beat by a Pokemon remaster in 2014 and Undertale in 2015. What a bullet the furries dodged on that one, huh?
You see, in recent days, the independent creator of the franchise, Steven Cawthon, had his sizable political contributions to members of the Trumpian Brigade(™) picked up by Social Media. The candidates in said brigade typically speak about the subversion of American Values and see people who are outside those “Values” as an enemy. They use this fear to get people to donate money to them.
To highlight this, we see Cawthon’s statement in response to this revelation. "I felt [Trump] was the best man to fuel a strong economy and stand up to America's enemies abroad, of which there are many" he goes onto indicate that he prioritizes the need for this foreign defense over the issues of American citizens' treatment by their own government with, "even if there were candidates who had better things to say to the LGBT community directly, and bigger promises to make, I believed that their stances on other issues would have ended up doing much greater harm to those communities than good"
Basically he is noting that we should fear foreign governments more than we should our domestic one. Which is usually a position that people who are generally left alone by their own government can comfortably have.
Interestingly it is this quote that made me think of the story of Five Nights at Freddy’s in a whole new way. So let’s go down this Bonny hole— metaphorically, you freakin’ furrys!
The style is heavily influenced by noir detective stories, with a dash of science-fiction. Set in a dystopian Vancouver, British Columbia, all the characters are anthropomorphic mammals. You play as Howard Lotor, a raccoon private investigator, trying to find evidence of an affair. To say things do not go as planned would be a vast understatement.
The game is surprisingly short, you can finish it in around four to five hours. After playing it, it felt like it had so much potential, but didn't deliver as much as it could have.
Claws of Furry is a game that gives you the ability to play with multiple friends as you scratch your way through four worlds with varying baddies, trying to save your master, who's been kidnapped by what appears to be Lady and the Tramp's Trusty in a mech suit.
As cool as this sounds, this game is not too polished and I would only recommend it for those that adore the brawler genre so much that they have to play every one of them. It may also be good for fans of the old-school Flash game feel. However, in general there are better brawlers out there, with more punch for your buck.
The adventure genre can sometimes seem a bit prehistoric, but that works just fine when your adventure game is about dinosaurs.
Zniw Adventure, developed by an independent two-person Polish team, hits on all the right nostalgic marks as it tells the story of a yellow dino by the name of Zniw (pronounced Zniff), and her journey to get home in time for her mother’s birthday.
But will this game give the genre new life like a mosquito from Jurassic Park? Or will the game make you wish games like this would go extinct? It will more likely be the former if you're a fan of a good point and click.