The year’s most intriguing game announcement is not a massive AAA title, it’s not the newest version of GTA 5, it’s not even Splatoon 3 er… Street Fighter 6. It’s an indie game, made not by a team of international superstar designers, but one guy with a very ambitious goal: to outsmart the entire internet. 

Shared Memory

We're ready to start mystery solving now Mr. Basso.

Billy Basso is the creator behind Animal Well, an upcoming puzzle platformer slash Metroidvania slash adorable dark pixel adventure. Billy Basso, besides having a world class alliterative name, also has some big cojones. He’s a former employee at Netherrealm and Phosphor Games who has struck out on his own to challenge God the internet. He’s mused that it might take players years and years to find all the secrets hidden in his game. And to that we say, challenge accepted.

Basso threw down this gauntlet during the ‘Day of the Devs’ an indie showcase during Summer Game Fest 2022. The more low-key indie announcements were by and large much more intriguing than the bigger budget hype machines announced in the AAA showcase. There’s no release date for Animal Well yet, but it’s already sending players into a frenzy. There are 4 layers of Easter Egg (just like Morbius!) filled exploration in the game and a lot of guts in this rowdy challenge to players:

“The first layer is the base game, with all the required areas needed to see the ending…The second layer includes optional items and areas that a dedicated player will find to “100%” the game…This is where most games stop. The third layer will include far more obscure puzzles, whose existence will be unknown to most. I suspect the internet will need to collaborate a bit to solve these – or they might not solve them! Then finally the fourth layer will be secrets that only I know. I’m throwing down the gauntlet and challenging the internet to discover everything.”

Shared Memory

Can you pet the dog?! You can certainly get chomped by one.

Basso stated that there were hints and secrets hidden in the ‘Day of the Devs’ announcement itself. Is this game going to be an IRL Ready Player One challenge? Is there a prize for discovering all the secrets hidden in this enigmatic and charmingly rendered game? We’ll only know once we go down the well.

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