Trip the Ark Fantasic by Croation developers Gamechuck is an immersive story-driven scientific adventure set in the Animal Kingdom on the verge of industrial and social revolution. It promises a deep and immersive world set in the Animal Kingdom filled with intrigue, side-quests and flavor and an exploration of how myths, science and philosophy can influence society by using gameplay mechanics based on the scientific method. The frame-by-frame animation is set in a gorgeous hand-drawn landscape inspired by the golden age of animation and music inspired by the works of R. Wagner. Trip the Ark Fantastic is also the first Croation game to be co-funded by the European Union’s MEDIA sub-program.
Watching the trailer above gave me serious Redwall vibes which is a definite plus, as I absorbed those books as a kid and still do as an adult. You play as Charles, a hedgehog scholar sent on a mission by your king (a lion, of course) to save the monarchy from ruin. However, the decisions you make could easily have the opposite effect. The story draws on the Biblical story of the Ark; lions built the Ark millennia before the game is set to save all animals from a great flood. The king hopes that in a realm beginning to tear at the seams, a reputable scholar like Charles proving the existence of the Ark will hold the kingdom together under the monarchy’s rule. One imagines that the player, as Charles, and his companions – Phillipe the Fox, the king’s most trusted advisor, and Andre the Boar, captain of the royal guard – may find themselves facing a rather serious moral dilemma; even if the Ark is real, should its existence be revealed?
Gameplay seems point and click adventure like, with Charles having to solve various problems on his quest, not by traditional methods, but by publishing the evidence he finds for each argument in scientific papers and hopefully swaying public opinion one way or the other. This evidence is gathered by interacting with the citizens of the kingdom, using scientific equipment, or drawing on the woks of other scholars found in the Kingdom’s libraries. The conclusions Charles comes to can have large-scale consequences on the fate of the Animal Kingdom, and it’s up to the player to decide if it’s right or wrong to publish a certain argument.
As a historian, I’m particularly interested in seeing how Gamechuck handle the exploration of society, the legitimacy of rule and the role myths play in how our world (or the animal world in this case) is shaped.
Trip the Ark Fantastic is set to release on PC, Mac, Linux and consoles in 2022.