I kind of love when I get excited for a game, but it takes so long to launch that I kind of forget about it. It makes the actual launch a happy surprise. It’s been ten years since Harold Halibut first came into existence, with the team building real-world sets and puppets. I first wrote about it in 2018, when the game was expected to launch late in the year or into 2019. Then… no launch. Well, at the PC Gaming Show Most Wanted 2024 showcase, developer Slow Bros. announced an early 2024 release window Harold Halibut. It’s not an exact release date, but I’ll take it.
Harold Halibut is a handmade narrative game about friendship and life on a city-sized spaceship submerged in an alien ocean. Harold will explore this vibrant, retro-future world of unique inhabitants. He will also need to maintain the spaceship. In the end, though, all that matters is finding the true meaning of the word “home.”
Each person in the ensemble of characters is unique, with their own personalities, quirks, and stories to be learned through meaningful conversations. The storyline is described as “riveting” and “cinematic,” which is a tall order that may be achieved through a script that promises to blends drama, humour, and suspense.
The game achieves its stop-motion look through 3D scanned physical models. Everything in the game exists in the real world thanks to classic sculpting and modelmaking techniques. Further elevating Harold Halibut is full English voice acting that brings all of the world’s wonderful inhabitants to life.
I think it’s safe to say that anyone who writes for DDNet, myself included, is a huge believer in video games as an art form. With a game like Harold Halibut, there are real world objects relating to the game; these physical objects make it a bit easier for some to bridge the games to art relationship. Earlier in 2023, the game’s intricately detailed puppets and sets were part of The Museum of Design Zurich’s Game Design Today Exhibit. Visitors were impressed that these tangible objects could be interacted with via a video game.
Developed and published by Slow Bros., Harold Halibut will be released for PC, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series in early 2024.