The Mammoth: A Cave Painting: A Review of Extinction

     From the former Yager employees laid off from their work on Dead Island 2, a new small creative group was made- Inbetweengames.  An aptly titled group that wanted to create a small game focusing on the inevitable doom they saw coming concerning their last project and jobs, and the hopeful rebirth anew with their new company on the indie scene.  This tiny game project, made for the Ludum Dare 33 is The Mammoth: A Cave Painting.


     The game is a wonderful lesson on the foreseeable future.  You play as a mammoth that left your herd to go searching for your lost offspring, and defending them from the onslaught of humans in a mission of their own survival.  Of course, we all know what happened to the wooly creatures in real life, and we get to experience the same disheartening thing as we are unable to save our children from death and must press on.  Even if you defeat the humans, you march on to your own impending death with no way to avoid it as you find yourself as the last of your kind.

     This situation was well known to Inbetweengames, as they wrote to Offworld:
     "It didn't take us long to realize that most of us would be fired, so we decided to jam for Ludum Dare 33 to cope with the situation somehow... at its very core it wound up being a game about the inescapability of loss."
     I believe this drive to express themselves really helped the emotional power of the game.  It isn't drawn out at all.  No long-winded narration, it gets to the point right away.  It's a quick 5 minute game that hits players right in the heart's sadness button, capturing the essence of loss perfectly.  The visuals are in muted browns and tans, with shadows seeping in from the edges, and the game's steady drum beat lead to the only real conclusion of all things in life.  Somehow, it's both beautiful and awful at the same time.  It's the most compressed tale of grief and acceptance I've ever seen and it's very impressive indeed.

     Free to play on: [ PC ] [ In Browser ] [ Android ] [ iOS ]

     Official site [ Inbetweengames ]

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