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Hidden Indie Gem ENDLING – EXTINCTION IS FOREVER Review (Switch)

Endling: Extinction is Forever is a survival game that takes you on an emotional journey that also gives us a glimpse of what the future can become. The game was developed by Herobeat Studios, it has you play as a mother Fox whose purpose is to protect her cubs and survive in the cruel world where humans are trying to take away your home. From beginning to end players will experience a story that is full of emotions from happiness to sadness.

Story

After the dramatic movie intro, You play as a mother fox who’s just given birth to a litter of four little cubs. The world isn’t the beautiful world you know, the environment is slowly decaying and there is pollution everywhere, the forest is burning, and humans will try to hunt you down to survive. It is like the world itself is a lost cause and both humans and animals are trying to survive, and the mother fox will help her cubs to survive in the world. Each cub is born with different patterns and colors that you can customize which makes each one unique.

However shortly after they are born, the curiosity of one of the cubs takes place where one of the cub decided to leave the safety of the dens to go out and chase a toy it saw, but was taken away by a Human Scavenger. This is the start of a journey not just finding your cub but also protecting the other three cubs you have and providing them.

Gameplay

The sense of scent is important where your fox senses come into play to save your lost cub, you have to follow the scent left behind by the human. While searching for your cub that was taken away by the scavenger players will also have to help your other three cubs by finding food to provide to them. Players will have to find a balance between saving and protecting however during this time there is a time limit for each passing day because during nighttime you will explore and find food but daytime is even more dangerous, and being outside for too long is dangerous.

On top humans are not the only dangerous ones, there are also animal predators out there who will try to harm your cubs there be a time you will have to fight them off. Humans will also venture out and scout the area but also will lay down traps that can injure you, this makes you unable to fight back or run quickly, so hiding, and avoiding humans, is the only way to survive this dangerous world.

For food, there are multiple sources of food you will be able to find, such as fish and rodents, but you can also find fruits and berries from trees and bushes. As you explore the world to find food, always keep an eye out for your hunger meter and your scents to find food. The cubs will also develop certain skills as they grow and explore as time passes by. For example one can dig for food; another can squeeze into tight places to find even more food. Whenever you open your map you will be able to find hints for world events or spots where your cubs will be able to learn new skills. As the nights go by, not only does the food become harder to come by, it will get more dangerous where humans will become more aggressive and the number of traps.

You can even pet and play with the kits if they experience something scary or confusing. You might notice the importance the game is putting on food. This is because, to put it simply, you can fail. If you ignore food for too long or cannot return home before sunrise, your kits can die. You can also fail to follow the scent of the missing kit, ending in death for them as well. This puts insidious pressure on the player because, as you can imagine, different endings depending on how well you’ve kept your babies alive.

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Controls

Endling: Extinction uses a unique concept in which the game incorporates both 2.5D and 3D environments. The majority of your fox movement is on a 2.5D side-scrolling perspective but there are times when the players will be prompted to change paths such as shortcut, new trail, or on top of a building which allows you to explore on a 3D plane. The movement and fixed camera position make the world immersed and allow me to take it in the scene of the cruel world.

Summary

Endling: Extinction Is Forever is a visually beautiful game that takes you on an emotional journey to survival in a world where every corner is dangerous. The developers have done an amazing job by creating a game where players can feel a connection between the mother fox and her cubs.  This connection is important because it shows the relationship between the mother and her cubs where family is important and we will do anything to protect it.