Usually, when playing a creepy game, you’re the one left with a tingling sensation on the nape of your neck. But what will you do when it’s your turn to dole out the fear? In Manimal Sanctuary, a new VR game from Postopian Games, you get to answer just that.
“Manimal Sanctuary is a lurking simulator. It leverages low-end VR technology to enable every player’s ultimate fantasy: to play a creature part coral reef, part Cthulhu, who consumes human emotions. Set on the Toronto Islands after the rest of the city is consumed by gibbering monstrosities, you eavesdrop on the survivors and their dramas involving things like bad potato crops and graffiti tags. And if those everyday emotions aren’t filling enough, you can always uncover some devastating secrets,” said Writer/Designer, Jim Munroe in a recent blog post about the game. So in other words, you treat these humans as livestock. By living off of their emotions and by making helping events unfold that are sure to evoke strong feelings, you could stay sated for a long time.
Check out the trailer below:
The game takes place on an island where the people feel threatened by what lurks beyond the frozen water in the dead of winter. In this dystopian future, where only a sliver of humanity survived, the people have banded together to protect themselves. An interesting part of the story involves sentries who watch the frozen wastes, ready to put a bullet in any who try to cross. Though it’s not just the critters they’re watching out for, but human survivors as well since any who try to come near their island could also lure the monsters there. Which means death to any who try to cross the wastes in hope of finding safety with these people.
What struck me about Manimal Sanctuary was the open political nature of this game’s theme. Since Munroe himself said that there is a relevant “question of what kind of society we want to have — how safe, and how just — it’s of obvious relevance to our current political discussion about immigration, refugees, and terrorism.” Not many – and certainly not many VR games – have taken a strong political theme that discusses issues in the real world.
Made for Android and iOS, the game has been created to work well on high-end and low-end phones alike. Munroe said that their goal with the game was to connect with an audience who would be delighted with what they can do with their phone. Rather than high-end mobile owners who would only be disappointed because they expected even better. Which is why the game is also a gaze based experience, meaning you won’t need to use any buttons or other peripherals to experience it.