When you’ve been playing 10 - 20 games a week for the last 4 years it can get to be a challenge for games to really stand out. While there are simply top-tier experiences that blow the doors off, I’m really more interested in the games that do something different, surprise me, or tug at the heart strings in some way. Endling delivers such an experience, and though my being a parent to 2 children (all grown now, pshew!) may make me particularly susceptible to its story of a mother fox struggling to keep her few cubs alive in a harsh and sometimes cruel world, I think anyone should be able to connect with it. To be clear, the focus here is more on the wordless story and the quest for survival, not necessarily on what can at times be the pretty mundane steps needed to do so. You’ll cover the same territory every night, scouting for small prey, trying to be sure to avoid traps, and preferably keeping away from situations that would put your cubs at risk. Perhaps as you’d expect there are moments where reality can come crashing in, pointing out the harsh realities wild creatures must contend with, and depending on how hard you make take those perilous circumstances the game may actually be a bit too intense and cruel for your tastes. Nevertheless, this is a pretty unique experience and more compelling than a few other indie titles that have had similar themes and structure, but simply weren’t executed as effectively. It won’t appeal to everyone, but it stands out as a touching reminder of the many perils we humans have unleashed on the world, both directly and indirectly.
Justin Nation, Score:
Nindie Choice! [8.5]