Developer agendas have become the activist’s Rorschach test in video games. Some people claim to see them spelled out clearly while others only see pixels. In that respect it’s refreshing for a game to wear it’s motivation unabashedly on its sleeve. In the case of the Kickstarter campaign for Animalia Vengeance, that motivation is putting an end to animal cruelty in the food industry.

The good folks at PETA have set quite the precedent for video games that call out animal cruelty, but where they rely on shock and subversion, Animalia Vengeance has a different approach. The new visual novel from Reading Cow Studio reminds us that hardcore activists need love too.

And tasty noms.

Players take on the role of Aiden Akihiro, a researcher at Future Foods Lab. His task is to accelerate the necessary technology to sustain the ever increasing human population through the creation of commercial-grade lab meat. Turned on yet? Well, get ready to be because in addition to facing difficult decisions and gaining animal companions, throughout the course of the story Aiden can also find love, for some reason. Oh, and he communicates with some of the animals.

Looking For Love In All The Weird Places

Visual novels tend to be a hodgepodge of bizarre ideas anyway, but Animalia Vengeance really raises the bar with this premise. So much so, that it’s hard to tell if the game or its message was conceived first. Not that it particularly matters when the campaign advertises amazing features like “coffee dates” and “food art”.

The Kickstarter trailer plays towards the serious nature of the subject, ignoring the cross-eyed pigeon and spunky mouse companions Aiden eventually joins up with. Helpfully, there is a demo available which covers the first chapter of the story. Worth checking out if you’re looking to spice up your activism with a little romance.

Joanna Mueller
Joanna Mueller is a lifelong gamer who used to insist on having the Super Mario Bros manual read to her as a bedtime story. Now she's reading Minecraft books to her own kiddo while finally making use of her degree to write about games.
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