Screenshot Saturday Sundays: Landing ships, petting dogs, shaking hands

Screenshot Saturday Sundays! Shut the curtains, grab a piping mug of your favourite hot beverage, and join me as we once again see what those rascals in the game development community have come up over the last few days. This week: You can’t pet this dog, you can land this spaceship, you might make it to the beach, and you shouldn’t shake those hands.

Touching down first is a wonderfully clunky modular lander from developer Heinn.

Good user interface design is woefully underrated, I reckon. While Heinn has been prototyping this untitled low-fi spaceship lark for a few weeks, the addition of some flickering, staggered text gives everything a wonderful retro-futuristic vibe – the sort of thing I reckon Amanda Ripley could run on Alien: Isolation‘s clunky old motion tracker. A small thing, sure, but it adds some unexpected physicality to what looks like a solid little ship assembler.

You can try to pet this dog, sure – but that doesn’t mean he’ll let you.

A Shiba Story, shockingly, is self-described as a game “about life with a Shiba Inu”, from developer Keane Ng and their own Shiba Inu. There’s a lovely picturebook quality to the presentation, all soft-colours and light vignettes. The game strands our hapless lead with a Shiba named Sunday (fitting, for this round-up), and tasks you with working out how to take care of your new four-legged friend.

Having looked after my partner’s brother’s terrier over the new year, I no longer envy A Shiba Story’s protagonist. Dogs are hard work – who knew!

It is entirely ill-advised to be popping off to the beach under current circumstances, I know. But I’ll make an exception to sit a minute in Sluggish Morss: Pattern Circus.

It’s been a minute since we last checked in with Pattern Circus, Jack King-Spooner’s next D.I.Y alien adventure. As a follow-up of sorts to freeware gem Sluggish Morss: Ad Infinitum, Pattern Circus’s feverish trail follows eight characters across a darkly comic – and somewhat melancholic – future.

Kickstarted back in 2018, the Scottish dev’s latest flaunts the same raw, handcrafted construction as past games Dujanah and Beeswing – clay miniatures and crafted sets imposed over stunning, roughly-animated watercolour backgrounds. King-Spooners’s slowly been dripping out more tunes since the campaign ended too, building out a hauntingly “dirty” soundscape for the claymation adventure.

Finally – fancy giving me a hand with surreal Italian horror flick Beyond The Gate?

Hi-fives all ’round.

Disclosure: I did chip in a few quid on the Sluggish Morss: Pattern Circus Kickstarter, and have occasionally grabbed a pint with developer (and fellow Edinburgh’er) King-Spooner.

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