Fatum Betula by Bryce Butcher

              

         I played Fatum Betula on my Switch the other evening. I actually got it in a itch.io donation bundle awhile back, but I thought it'd be a nice game to spend time with on my Switch, so I bought it on the eshop.

         The game only took one evening, but was personally compelling to the end. The low poly/ps1-esque aesthetic, when done well, always tends to capture my imagination in a way high polish games don't always do. I'm unsure if this is because of how the vague nature of implied, simple forms allows me to fill in visual gaps with my mind or if it speaks to me specifically because of nostalgia. Either way, for the moment, it's become a specific artistic choice utilized by a lot of indie game developers.

           low-poly autumn forest

           house interior with picture on wall and shelf

           dock leading to submarine with eyes

         I have a lot of love for exploration, and this game's world, while small and measurable, is evocative and kept me wanting to move through it. You could describe it as a walking simulator, but it kind of gives me point and click adventure vibes through some basic puzzle solving and interactions with strange characters, who's presence often does not explain their existence.

           hungry cat creature saying 'there is a constant pain in my empty stomach'

           person with a hand with an eye for a face with a glitchy background

           person smoking sitting alone in a library

         There's only 5 music tracks in the game, along with a handful of sound effects and ambient noises, but they all work together to give the setting a sense of place and really extends the world beyond it's boundaries.



         Spending the couple of hours I did with this game felt like freely walking around an odd, sad, and peaceful dream. I'm glad I experienced it.

           skeleton with text 'its all really weird honestly'

Check out the creator, Bryce Butcher's itch.io page!