Loddlenaut – The Aquatic Pet Simulator Game
Editor note: Since posting this article the Kickstarter campaign has successfully reached its goal. Meaning no further pledges will be accepted. However, you can still follow the progress of this project via Kickstarter should you be interested.
Another world to explore. Another world to save. You need to survive, adapt, and nurture – Not only for yourself, but for a whole species relying on you. Extinction will never come so long as you’re here. Welcome to Loddlenaut – the game where you will save an aquatic planet from the folly of mankind.
What To Expect in Loddlenaut
Dive into GUP-14, an abandoned ocean planet once colonised by the GUPPI Corporation. You will explore the magical yet tragic ruin of pollution and disaster. Swim in this open-world of a game as you explore every corner, cave, and biome to complete your mission. Much like Endling, this game will highlight the destructive and post-apocalyptic world for non-human species, but instead through your eyes.
Loddlenaut is being developed by a two-person team known as Moon Lagoon. The developers are Richard Escobar and Jin-Young Sohn, who base their operations in Austin, Texas. The two met at NYU Game Center during their study for MFAs in Game Design. Being inspired by pet simulators such as Nintendogs and Tamagotchi, the two decided to work on Loddlenaut as part of their thesis project in their second year of study.
The game’s world features a gorgeous palette of pastel colours and smooth textures. Its child-like graphics are oxymoronic to the grime and dark desolation of its themes. There is a rewarding beauty to cleaning up this planet and seeing its true self; which brings forth this great player immersion that both detracts and reminds us of real-life contemporary issues.
Players will also be able to adventure through various unique biomes that scatter the planet. Each one is different from the other and requires upgrading your skills and technology to save. Ripple Reef, Tangle Bay, Grimy Gulf – these are but some of the places your character will journey to clean up. The developers have also expressed interest in adding more new biomes to the game, depending on the success and growth of the Kickstarter funds.
The Gameplay of Loddlenaut
The gameplay is focused on 5 parts: exploration, sanitation, upgrading, caring and building. Exploration is focused on venturing out into the open world and discovering new areas. Some of those areas are inaccessible without progressing through existing areas. Your character will have a jet pack and scuba gear to help them travel through the waters by swimming.
Sanitation refers to using your trusty bubble gun to remove debris and clear out the toxic goo in the world. This is part of your main directive, and what you’ll spend your time doing. Both this and exploration correlates with upgrading – which allows you to recycle parts to strengthen your gear. Upgrading your gun and the jet pack will allow for more interactions and new areas to be unlocked.
Caring refers to the adoption and welfare of your Loddles, which goes in hand with building. Loddles, like any foreign species, will be curious at your sight but cautious; so you’ll need to build up trust. Using your helmet lights establish a morse code form of communication, which makes them trust you enough to pet them. You then need to guide them safely to your home base.
Keeping them happy is the next step, build a safe home for them at your home base and keep in check with their needs and wants. Feeding them different food may also grow them in interesting ways: they can regain abilities such as resistance, purification of nearby waters and so on. If strong enough, releasing them into the wild will yield great results for their survival – you may even come across future eggs to incubate.
The Story Of Loddlenaut
On the planet GUP-14, pollution and toxicity have poisoned the ecosystem, with mysterious goo covering the oceans. Future buyers of the planet are not pleased, I mean who would be if your water world was practically sludge world? So you are hired to clean it up, and make sure the planet is sellable, but who are you exactly?
You are a specialised custodian, and it is your job to make sure the job is done – exploring the vast areas of this globe for much higher corporations than you. Along the way, you’ll unlock the history and secrecy behind the GUPPI Corporation through the remnants they left behind carelessly.
Furthermore, your journey will take you to a place you’ll never expect to find yourself in – Pet-renthood. This planet isn’t as uninhabited as you think – also exploring these depths are alien creatures known as Loddles. They’re cute, adorable, and adoptable – basically that means you should take them with you to your base.
Kickstarter and Release Information
Moon Lagoon released a Kickstarter campaign to acquire funding for their game and need £25,218 of funding to reach their goal. From the time of writing this article, £25,141 has been raised by 736 backers across the world. They have until Monday 12th July 2021 at 6:19 AM BST to acquire 100% of funding or lose out on their existing backers.
The game is expected to release on PC and Mac through Steam, with a possible release on the Nintendo Switch after launch. Loddlenaut’s release date will hopefully drop in 2022, with no current pricing (except for Kickstarter tiers).You can find more information on their Twitter page.
I’ve never personally been a fan of pet simulators – heck, I can’t even manage my fish on Mass Effect 2. But this game intrigues me for how it balances the importance of rescuing these creatures under your care and doing your duty to keep the planet safe as part of your job. There is a conflict between following orders and doing it for selfless reasons.
The world of GUP-14 is visually stunning! The colours, textures and biomes coalescing into a work of art that pops out to your eyes. Exploration through the world is going to be a great aspect that will never get old, and cleansing the filth to make it even more stunning seems like the ultimate reward.
With so many mechanics in the game to explore, the game features a great blend of pet simulating and free-roaming. The idea that you can use your downtime to nurture your rescues Loddles is a nice change of pace from cleaning an entire water world. That being said, we wonder whether players will actually continue working once they delve into pet-renthood.
We would highly recommend supporting this game, not only as a gamer but for knowledge. Escobar and Sohn creating Loddlenaut out of passion and for their thesis is a worthy goal – one we approve greatly. It’s amazing to see indie games like these bring people together; a testimony to how videogames can bring people together. We wish them the best of luck.