Klace, a pink canine character with colorful locks, and his studio Tall Tail Studios has released a successor to his Ursa Major winning visual novel Major/Minor. Winds of Change is not a sequel, it is a self contained adventure that requires no experience with the former to play and enjoy. There are a few Easter eggs that seem to allude to the older game, but nothing that shapes your ability to comprehend the world before you.
So given that is this game worth your time? In short if you love visual novels and enjoyed Major/Minor you will love this game even more as it is better in every regard. If you despise the genre obviously, you may want to pass.
I would say even if you disliked Major/Minor due to its quality, you should give this one a shot. The difference between the two games are night and day. I’ll be covering mechanics over story in this, mostly to avoid narrative spoilers. There are however a spoiler for Mass Effect 2 and Deus Ex: Human Revolution.
After reading about games that were shown at PAX East, I decided to put together a list of games with animal content that came out in 2018 and early 2019, plus upcoming ones. It's not a complete list and I don't know how good the games are; these are the ones that caught my eye. As for upcoming releases, it's always a bit of a gamble. So let's get started!
First off, if you want a wider selection, there's a curated Steam list for the Anthro/Furry tag, started by Foxysen. It tries to organize the games into different categories - always an uphill battle in terms of subjectivity. If you're in the mood to watch games instead of playing them, there are things like Furry Watch and Furries on Twitch.
I may be a little late to the party, considering Dust was released in 2012 and nominated for an Ursa Major, but Dust was on sale on Steam late last year and I took the opportunity to get it (Dust is 75% off on GOG.com until 29 January). One positive aspect of Dust is that it works on Windows, Mac and Linux, so I did not have any trouble even though I recently switched over to using Linux exclusively.
Dust is set in a world populated with various anthropomorphic characters. General Gaius has been leading a crusade to purge the world of Moonbloods, which appear to be primarily reptilian whereas most of the characters seem more mammalian. I don't recall any real reason ever being provided as to what led to the conflict with the Moonbloods and the genocide.
As Dust, you wake up with no knowledge of who you are and are soon discovered by a magical, talking sword, named Ahrah, and its guardian, the adorable Nimbat named Fidget. Ahrah clearly knows something but refuses to tell you and you start to explore the world to discover who you are and what is happening.
Like the Pokémon games, the Super Smash Bros. series has had many releases, adding a few bells and whistles as well as a handful of new characters every console generation or so. Also like the Pokémon games, the new releases have a solid enough base that they're still almost always worth checking out. And also also like the Pokémon games, the Super Smash Bros. series has Pokémon in it.
HaveIBeenPwned lists the disclosure of 411,755 HTH Studios accounts from August 24, including data such as:
Browser user agent details, dates of birth, email addresses, IP addresses, names, phone numbers, physical addresses, purchases, usernames
Passwords were stored as "salted" SHA-1 and MD5 hashes, which may decrease the impact of their being compromised - however, such protections are no longer considered sufficient to protect original passwords, due to the speed at which these types of hashes may be computed.
a puzzle game where you can have erotic encounters with the surrounding characters, and work out your frustrations if you come across a particularly complex puzzle.
Season 6 of the popular "Battle Royale" shooter Fortnite is launching September 25, this Thursday, and for the second season in a row, the first teaser image released by Epic Games features a new character wearing an animal mask, in this case, a Deadmau5-esque DJ wearing a llama mask, after the Season 5 teaser featured a kabuki-inspired fox mask teaser.
The next Season 6 teaser image featured a cowgirl (the "Wild West" type of cowgirl, not the furry type, unfortunately), but it wasn't until the third and final teaser image, that things got really furry with an apparent werewolf character featured, seen above.
Update: The llama DJ is named DJ Yonder and is the tier 1 reward for the Season 6 Battle Pass; the werewolf is named Dire and is the tier 100 reward, and features further unlockable styles (he is unlocked as a human but most players will already have enough experience points reaching tier 100 to unlock his werewolf form when he is unlocked). Season 6 is also introducing Pets that players can carry on their back to the game; a dog, chameleon and baby dragon will all be unlockable in the pass.
The furry fandom’s favorite fighting fox has proven once against that when it comes to the competitive fighting game scene, he cannot be denied. SonicFox found himself victorious in the EVO eSport World Championship, to taking home the first-place victory in Dragon Ball FighterZ. He also kept his form as a top contestant in the Injustice 2 scene, able to take home third place despite having waned his practice to focus on the anime based game.
Many in the furry fandom typically care so little about sports that the University of Waterloo that researches furries literally uses sports fandoms as a control group when trying to compare those in furry with those of the outside world. However, it seems that when it comes to the fighting game eSports scene, many have found themselves giving into the fan fever of competition as one of their own dominates its world.
Those who watched the final match against Goichi (using the tag Go1) were not disappointed as the two faced off in their final sets to claim the title. It is a match that will go down in fighting game history scene for the intensity, and little bit of controversy.
Following on from my review of Monster Mind, I metaphorically sat down with Argon Vile to discuss the game. The conversation has been lightly edited for clarity and consistency. Let's jump straight into it!
Rakuen: In the credits, you say Monster Mind was pretty much just done by you, although you took various assets from others. How long did it take to put everything together and what kept you motivated through it all?
Argon Vile: Development of Monster Mind began in January 2016 and finished in April 2018. When I first started the project, I tried to strike a balance between working on the game and working on my art. But after six months, I realized the scope of what I was creating, how long it would take. I decided to fully focus on the game, but I was still dissatisfied with the amount of progress I was making. I eventually adopted a motivational technique Jerry Seinfeld popularized, which is to take a physical wall calendar (being physical is important) and set a daily goal for yourself. My goal was to work on my game for one hour. Every day that I worked on my game, I would put an X on the calendar for that day. And eventually I would accumulate a string of five or 10 Xs in a row, and it would feel good. And that was my goal; don't break the chain.
Monster Mind is a puzzle-solving, Pokémon-themed, flash game created by Argon Vile. It's available to play for free through Inkbunny or Fur Affinity. One might be tempted to immediately dismiss it as just another pornographic game, however not only is it very well-executed but it also contains deeper questions about sex and sexuality than you might expect.
A puzzling start
The main puzzles—as well as the title—are based on the board game Master Mind. In the classic version, you have to guess the colour and position of each peg in a row of four, usually with six colours to choose from for each slot. After each guess, you are told how many pegs have the correct colour and how many are in the correct position. Over multiple guesses, you can determine the correct pattern.
Monster Mind is slightly different. While you are still required to find the pattern, several guesses are already provided as clues. You must use those clues to determine the correct sequence; although in the most difficult puzzles it might be necessary to make assumptions about more than one peg at a time. You can choose between various difficulties starting from a pattern of just three pegs (although in this game they are adorable bugs instead of pegs) and going up to five pegs. There is also a secret 7-peg puzzle with some extra rules!
Ghost of a Tale is described as an action-RPG game with stealth elements, dialogues and quests. Of particular interest to furs is that you play as an anthropomorphic mouse character in a world that's very reminiscent of Brian Jacques' Redwall series. Impressively, it is primarily the work of a single developer, Seith, and was funded via IndieGoGo. Ghost of a Tale was available in early access for a long time, although I waited until after the full game was released, in March 2018, before buying a copy.
Backbone is a Kickstarter for an anthropomorphic computer adventure game featuring a raccoon detective, using pixel art and set in a dystopian retro-futuristic/Blade Runner-esque Vancouver. It's the first game by EggNut, a Canadian studio.
Crowdfunding started in April, aiming for $63,000 CAD (~ $50,000 USD) with a deadline of May 27th, 2018. As of May 4, with 23 days to go, they're at 46% of that goal.
A demo is planned for Summer 2018, and they hope to have the game released by mid-2019. It should be available for PC, Mac and Linux, with possible additional platforms depending on stretch goals.
Along with detective work, there will also be stealth sequences that use smell-based mechanics, for when you're trying to hide from (or follow) a suspect. Combat will be another game element, with "The Artifact", which looks like a giant metal claw. A dark jazz soundtrack will provide additional atmosphere.
CyberConnect2, a Japanese video game development studio best known outside the fandom for the .hack and Naruto: Ultimate Ninja series, is recruiting programmers, designers and artists for three new projects in its “Trilogy of Vengeance” as part of its 'Next Plan' strategy.
This trilogy is composed, as its name suggests, of three games themed around vengeance:
- Tokyo Ogre Gate, a high-speed action game about schoolgirls in a historical/fantasy setting.
- Cecile, a gory action game about Gothic Lolita witches trying to kill each other.
- Fuga, an action strategy RPG with the additional themes of “War” and “Animals”.
Fuga will join such games as Solatorobo (Nintendo DS; Flayrah review) and Tail Concerto (PS1) as an instalment in the Little Tail Bronx series, focusing on what happens when children enter the battlefield. Its plot features eleven orphans, crewing a tank with a soul-fueled cannon – fighting the fascist Berman Empire, which attacked their village and imprisoned their parents.
Back in the year 2000, a game broached shelves that became a social phenomenon. Maxis’s The Sims took the doll house that many, stereotypically girls, played with in their youth and put it onto the computer screen. In the shadow of popular “virtual pet” games like tamagotchi it took the idea of the animal pet and made them a bit more human. The result was not only a simulator where you could take your virtual human and help them climb the ladder of success, it was a game where the more creatively sadistic could torture the poor souls in ways that would make Edgar Allen Poe blush.
For those who are not into the whole torture thing, the game is pretty simple and addictive. You give your Sims stuff so that they can become more skilled so that they can acquire more stuff. There is a kind of cyclonic, capitalistic story behind it all, but the game does cut one thing out for the first iteration. The work part. While at home you need to keep your Sim’s bars full to keep them happy. Their sleepiness, hunger, bladder, hygiene, and such all have to be kept in check. However, the grungy and grindy part of the day, the effort done to make the money to improve the ever expanding home life, is cut out.
Get a writer, an artist, a musician, and a programmer in the same room and what can you make? Well a video game, obviously. However, you need to remember you only have one of each, so you’re not going to be making the next Skyrim in your lifetime. So what do you do? Well, use the visual medium of gaming to tell the story you want to tell in a slightly more interactive way. You’re now on your way to creating a visual novel.
While most visual novels could barely qualify as games to some, these literary heavy games are the go to for the more well-read, and perhaps more ‘casual’ gamer, that doesn’t mind letting the words immerse them in their worlds.
The genre has already had notoriety in Japan for awhile, but just like the anime craze heading to the West in the 1990s, this storytelling medium is starting to get recognition in other parts of the world. Digital platforms, such as Steam, are allowing for niche games to find a market where one may not have existed before. And if furries know anything, for better or worse, is what happens when niches connect by wire (or wireless these day).
Our fandom, in the past couple of years, has shown that it too has caught onto the rising genre and has jumped in with both paws, and for the lack of a better term— are leaving their mark upon it.
This week, the furry world was rattled by news from the fandom’s bidding site of Dealer’s Den when a record setting bid closed out a battle to acquire a fursuit from the highly in demand Made Fur You. The final bid came in at $13,500 dollars by Desafinado, a fursuit collector who already has two to their name made by Mischief Makers, dropped the wad of cash to secure their third. They plan on making a horned cat character named Sage with it. They have done an interview over the transaction with Dog Patch Press that can be found here.
If anyone was curious as to what the suit will be. This is the character I am looking to get done. I was debating between this one and my bunny; but there are some other makers I would prefer to have my bunny done by, so Sage is the choice. pic.twitter.com/fzy1kzto55— Desafinado (@DezziFae) January 30, 2018
The transaction has brought up many critical statements. In those they note that the amount of money is the amount of a car, or a sizable down payment on a mortgage. Of course, such comparisons to practical commodities overlook the fact that the purchaser in question may already have shelter and a mode of transportation that they are secure and happy with. Finances are a very personal thing, and it takes some perspective to realize that there is always someone out there who will make a less practical financial decisions in the world when they are secure in the needs department. In fact many furry artists bank on this.