Paws of Coal to be unearthed on Steam next month
Animal-themed narrative adventure in the Trip the Ark Fantastic universe coming May 1st on PC
While we continue to wait on the gorgeous hand-painted point-and-click animal adventure Trip the Ark Fantastic, first the indie Croatian developer Gamechuck is giving us a charming-looking companion piece called Paws of Coal, which is set in the same universe and stars the same protagonist.
In an anthropomorphic animal kingdom on the cusp of both a social and industrial revolution, a “seemingly contagious disease has just befallen rabbit coal workers in the Burrows.” The royal administrators are indifferent to their plight, however, infuriating the rabbits and rousing them to go on strike. While the bunnies protest for “better working conditions and rights,” a highly respected hedgehog scholar named Charles takes it upon himself to investigate the curious ailment inflicting them. To discover the truth, players will need to search the environments for clues, talk to your fellow mammals, read “scientific books” and even “form alliances with various factions to gain access to exclusive information.”
Paws of Coal is presented in the same hand-painted art style as Trip the Ark Fantastic, but with one key difference: the entire game takes place underground, where a civilized society of burrowing animals reside. The gameplay will also be fairly different, combining adventure-like exploration and item collection with choice-driven, visual novel-styled investigation and scientific methodology. It’s up to you to “use deduction to connect clues and distinguish solid evidence from misleading leads and hearsay,” and the reports you submit are entirely open-ended, even if you’re wrong. But every choice has consequences, as “even forming incorrect conclusions … will push the story forward, often in unexpected ways.” Along the way you’ll also be called upon to “make difficult moral decisions” in an animal kingdom plagued by division as well as disease.
If you like what you hear, there isn’t much longer to wait, as Paws of Coal will be emerge on Steam on May 1st for Windows PC. And if you’re interested in seeing more of this unique universe of talking mammals in action, you can check out the demo for Trip the Ark Fantastic on itch.io while you wait.