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Animal Well: Trailer, Gameplay, And Videogamedunkey - What We Know So Far

Bigmode, the indie games publisher started by Videogamedunkey and his wife, Leah, just announced its first game: "Animal Well." It was already in development with an existing community and was announced for Steam and PlayStation 5. Bigmode then took the helm as its publisher and announced its partnership with solo developer Billy Basso in early January 2023. Dunkey also made his first video mentioning "Animal Well" around the same time, along with his roundup of best games of 2022.


Some sites, like IGN, praised "Animal Well" before Bigmode spotlighted it as its first game. However, it will definitely receive more attention now, thanks to its publisher. Dunkey is well-known in the gaming community for his critiques and comedic takes on trending titles, enough so that he could make a game trend on Twitter from the sheer outrage from fans. Plus, Bigmode took a major stance against blockchain and NFT games, which arguably added to the company's goodwill with its fans.

Here's everything you need to know about the pixelated platformer, "Animal Well," and if it's worth the hype it's generating.

Is there a release date for Animal Well?

"Animal Well" doesn't have a release date or even a release window for when it could possibly come out. It's simply listed as "coming soon" on Steam.

Billy Basso, the game's sole developer according to the official website, posted the "Animal Well" announcement trailer on YouTube ten months ago in February 2022. That's around the same time publications like IGN and NME started covering the game, even if some posted previews later. The "Animal Well" developer log details Basso's progress with the game as far back as 2020, but the earliest entry already mentions a fully built game — or, at least, one version of it. According to Prankster 101 Productions, Basso spent at least five years developing "Animal Well" on his own before his partnership with Bigmode.


In short, "Animal Well" might take some time to complete, especially considering that Basso is a solo developer. The "Animal Well" website suggests joining its Discord server for up-to-date news on the title. 

Is there a trailer for Animal Well?

Yes, "Animal Well" has an announcement trailer that it's been using for its promotional materials. In it, players can sample the dark, neon-lit pixelated playground that looks like a cross between an amusement park and a dark fantasy forest. "Animal Well" apparently takes place in a "well" full of animals, thus the title. 


You play as a blob that looks like one of the ghosts from "Pac-Man." The trailer showcases the blob hopping on the backs of turtles, crossing a room with crows perched over a branch, and interacting with other animals throughout the footage. It even scurries away from what appears to be a ghost dog. It also features the puzzles the blob might be expected to solve, which involve using light switches and dynamite to unlock new portions of the map. 

In addition to the trailer, the "Animal Well" Day of the Devs preview gives more insight into the gameplay.

What will gameplay be like in Animal Well?

"Animal Well" is a 2D Metroidvania platformer, which means carefully traversing dangerous environments and creatively using the abilities that you accumulate over the course of your run. Players accumulate abilities that allow them to access or interact with previously benign areas, opening up new paths in old sections of the map. Some of these abilities have more obvious uses than others, and some might have more than one use. For example, the frisbee that you can use to play with dogs can also be used to flip switches as you traverse the map and gain more experience.


In the "Animal Well" Day of the Devs preview, developer Billy Basso advises players to proceed with caution as the creatures can be either friend or foe. He also encourages them to experiment with their abilities and with the animals to find all their uses. For example, there's a dog that might pick you up with its mouth and shake you around. However, you can also play frisbee with it. In one segment, a ghost dog chases after the player's character after it picks up the frisbee. It's a game that will keep you guessing with its various puzzles and creative gameplay.