Puzzle game

Former NetherRealm developer announces Animal Well, a horror-infused puzzle game

If you like indie games for their experimental nature, Animal Well might be for you. Developed by Billy Basso, a former programmer at NetherRealm Studios, it’s a 2D puzzle game that incorporates horror and platforming elements.

Slated for release on PlayStation 5 and Steam, Animal Well is coming later this year or early next year. Its developer shared a post on the PlayStation Blog discuss the project concept.

Basso wasn’t necessarily aiming to make a scary game, but still wanted to capture the sensibility of a survival horror game. This is accomplished through its artistic design, which mixes moody lighting with eerie environments and creatures. The current-gen exclusive is used to enhance pixel art with lighting and visual effects that will “push PlayStation 5 hardware”.

Animal Well takes place in an interconnected maze that features optional content beyond the player’s critical path. It uses a Metroidvania-style progression approach, with players returning to familiar areas with new abilities to progress. Exploration and uncertainty are key elements that Blasso hopes to focus on.

According to the post, Animal Well contains layers beyond the standard 100% completion. Considered the third layer, Basso expects to fill the game with arcane puzzles that he suspects can only be solved through community collaboration. There’s also a fourth layer, filled with secrets only he knows, daring the community to expose them.