The hand-drawn 2D indie game trend seen with titles like Cuphead, Hollow Knight, and Indivisible continues with Guinea Pig Parkour, a game that recently hit its Kickstarter goal for Early Access. Developed and animated solely by Jeff Mumm, it’s a 2D platformer adventure following Joe, the eponymous guinea pig that relies on coffee to keep him adventuring. Joe’s story explores the ‘90s, and carries the vibes of cartoons and games of that era. Looking at the trailer, Guinea Pig Parkour really does look like something that would’ve fit well on ‘90s Nickelodeon alongside shows like Rocko’s Modern Life.
Multimedia Iterations on a Guinea Pig
On the Kickstarter page, Mumm says the game’s influences include Crash Bandicoot 2, Day of the Tentacle, Super Mario 64, Earthworm Jim, Yoshi’s Island, and Sam and Max: Hit the Road. He also shares that Guinea Pig Parkour “actually began as sort of an homage to Disney’s Aladdin for the Super Nintendo, but has grown and developed over time.”
Going even deeper, Joe himself is based on Mumm’s own childhood pet, a guinea pig of the same name. Mumm has long drawn on his pet for inspiration, creating work that’s included a series of comics and animated shorts called Guinea Something Good. Mumm had even previously used Kickstarter to fund a printed collection of Guinea Something Good, which also began playing with interactivity by including a “Choose Your Own Adventure” section. (Copies of Mumm’s Public Transportation: A Guinea Something Good Collection are available for purchase on Amazon.)
The success of Guinea Pig Parkour‘s campaign marks Mumm’s second successfully funded Kickstarter. He has only one other Kickstarter that went unfunded — an earlier effort at a game for Joe the Guinea Pig in 2013.
“In 2012, I finished school and took my first shot at creating a game based on that series [Guinea Something Good],” Mumm writes in his Kickstarter profile. “I was still a little too green and unfocused to bring it to fruition, but I continued conceptualizing it and working on it until 2015, when I found my core concept and decided to devote all my creative time to the project, now called ‘Guinea Pig Parkour.’ I’ve been working on it ever since, and I’m finally ready to present my pitch to the world!”
A Plan for Parkour
Guinea Pig Parkour is currently set for an English-language release on Windows. The Kickstarter campaign says that options for localization may possibly open up. Mumm adds that ports to PlayStation and Nintendo Switch could become a reality too, if things go well.
With the Kickstarter funds, Mumm plans to “work full time on the game until it is ready for Early Access” and collaborate with audio team Fat Bard to incorporate music and sound effects. Once in Early Access, Mumm intends to continue developing Guinea Pig Parkour for full release. This will take the form of episodic content — one episode of the game will launch, and new episodes will be created later.
While successfully funded, stretch goals remain for the Guinea Pig Parkour campaign — at $25,000, a digital art book becomes available, and $50,000 promises the full release of the game. There are a variety of rewards for backers, including a digital download of the game’s soundtrack, the chance to design an NPC character, digital files of all the animated shorts and comics in the Guinea Something Good series, and Mumm’s Udemy course on beginning 2D animation.
Mumm plans to have Guinea Pig Parkour in Early Access by December 2020. People can also support the ‘90s-inspired 2D game on Patreon.