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Under the Radar: The Girl and The Robot –
Between Wind Waker and Studio Ghibli

I sat today, staring at the steel gray skies as they spat cold rain on my window , and dreamt of a more welcoming horizon.  Until I realized that imagination is for people that can’t afford to pay someone to imagine for them.  That’s when I went on to Youtube and watched some videos of the Wind Waker, with its pastel colors and simple design.  It struck a chord that isn’t often played in today’s mainstream climate of photorealism pandering.  If you’re a fan of art styles that ruddy the cheeks of your inner child with joy, then you might also like The Girl and The Robot by Flying Carpet Games.

The name says it all: this is the story of the girl who stands against the reign of an evil queen and the robot that’s guarding her.  This project of an international team of hobbyists recently succeeded in crowdfunding its Kickstarter goal of 15,000$ Canadian wingwangs (do people still say that?) and, with a few hours to go, if you want to chip in towards a stretch goal then The Girl and The Robot are happy to oblige you.

I need a vacation to the Bahamas or something.

The Girl is supposed to play quite differently from the Robot. Unsurprisingly.

It’s billed as an action/adventure game but the crudest comparison could simply describe it as a “Symbiotic-Puzzler”.  You know what I mean even if the term is foreign.  You play as at least two characters with that employ the stereotypical symbiosis: the (often) smaller Brains who actually solves the puzzles, and the Brawn who lifts things up and puts them down.  And beans the occasional baddie that wants to take out his weaker half.  As The Girl, you’ll be crawling through the holes too small for The Robot to traverse and masterminding the movements of her other half.  As The Robot, you’ll be doing all the heavy lifting.  And heavy…standing.  Occasionally, there’ll be heavy fighting against the robots that haven’t seen the light and still serve the evil queen.

The story is not explicitly stated and, thus, rather enigmatic.  It leaves that familiar, sour taste in my mouth that tells me I’m going to be examining the back of every leaf and the corner of every stone to see what’s being held from.  It’s either a lore-fan’s wet-dream or wet-nightmare.  But the real draw for me was the art.  The Girl and The Robot’s style seems to be halfway between Wind Waker and Studio Ghibli and, as is expected of such a spectrum, is an absolute treat of warm, summer colors.  The music is also rather spectacular; I spent a good part of my writing time listening to the two tracks they had on the Kickstarter page again and again.

Hontou-ne kirei

A compilation of work from the team’s artist, Monaka.

There’s just so much to admire about The Girl and The Robot and I can’t wait to see the finished product.  Like I said, there are a few hours left in the Kickstarter campaign (as of the posting of this article) if you want to sidle your way into some extra, backers’ swag.

If you have a game or project that you would like to see spotlighted, send a message to “under[.]the[.][email protected][.].com” without the brackets.

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  1. Critical_Hit

    I love this game. Was broke during the Kickstarter, but just went and bought in the alpha build via Humble Store on their home page. My favorite Ghibli movie is Castle in the Sky and I love Ico — this is seriously, probably, my favorite game of 2014 already 😛 I’m glad to see anyone cover it. 

    You should do one of these Under the Radar features for Beyond Eyes. That game where you play as a blind girl. I missed out on that one’s crowdfunding too though, so I’m not even sure it’s even still in development 🙁

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