Video games are a unique medium, they excel at putting us in the shoes of other people. Wish fulfilment and fantasy lead us to play as a superhero or a God, or a Lovecraftian-monster who happens to be leading a cult. In the case of Frogvale, you’re a bus driver. This Kickstarter is working on a game that puts you in the shoes of Marco, trying to earn some extra money for his growing family. It’s a title that is aiming to fill a relaxing niche. Cosiness over intensity.
Frogvale appears to be a small, charming game. The bus driving simulator could bring it with it challenging but fun gameplay. The scenarios you complete with passengers could be interesting, and the text-message events are intriguing. It’s a good idea for a relaxing sim, but the real appeal is Frogvale’s art. It is built in a minimalistic but effect style, something that immediately stands out. The world is made up of strong shapes and pastel colours arranged to hint at the objects they are supposed to be rather than depict them entirely. The living breathing world shown in this art style should be a delight to explore. As Frogvale puts you in the driving seat around a city, it is important that you like the city. It will be difficult to dislike something as pretty as this.
Frogvale Is a Town Like No Other
Frogvale puts you in the shoes of Marco, who learns he is expecting a child on the same day that he is fired. So he gets a job as a bus driver. It’s up to you to manage his work, passengers, and outside relationships. It’s low stakes but looks interesting enough to keep you entertained. If done right, this sort of slice of life storytelling could excel. It’s a simple set up, but one that might make a fantastic game if done properly.
The art style of the game is what will make driving a bus more interesting. The art looks strangely detailed and focused in places. The textures attached to clouds and some scenery implies a careful approach has been taken to the look of the game. Whereas other objects like the moving people and bus are lovingly caricatured. The art is balanced creating a simplistic but beautiful world.
Frogvale Has a Lot of Potential
Frogvale hopes to hit a relaxing note for players. The sort of experience that you can pick up for a little to unwind. It sets itself apart from a standard bus simulator with its beautiful art style. However, the rest of the game also shows some clear potential. Managing Marco’s personal life has the capacity to elevate Frogvale. If done properly this side of the game could put the bus driving sequences into a wider perspective. This could give the game some emotional heft beyond simple relaxation and help it really stand out.
The developer of Frogvale has previously worked on a Steam game, but his background is largely in art. This brings with it a number of risks, but the Kickstarter is open about these possibilities. Story based elements and scenarios are bulk of the remaining work. This should give you a good idea of how close Frogvale is to its mid-2019 release date. It is a Kickstarter to support if you value the art of games or a chilled, relaxing experience. If completed Frogvale could be an important addition to the calming indie game landscape.