Extinction is Forever’ – TouchArcade

I have to tip my hat to HandyGames, they seem intent on bringing well-loved games on other platforms over to mobile as no-compromise premium releases, and I am so here for it. Their latest is Endling: Extinction is Forever from Herobeat Studios which only launched on PC and consoles just last year. There’s no easy way to say this: Endling is a bummer. This is a game with a very sad message, and plenty of sad moments. However, it’s a powerful game that’s also filled with quite a few genuinely touching and positive moments. Just make sure you’re in the right kind of headspace to play something like this.

So you are the last surviving fox on the planet, and the game opens with you frantically escaping a raging forest fire. A fire being purposely ignited by humans, I should add. Once you scramble to a safe hideout for the night you collapse, and it’s then that we discover you are actually a very pregnant fox who gives birth to 4 little pups. Adorable pups, I should add. Your job is to leave your hideout during the relative safety of nighttime in order to find food for your pups, and before too long they’ll grow enough to join you on these quests.

Endling is a survival game, for both you and your pups. There are many, many ways for any of you to die at a moment’s notice, and the game is comfortable not holding your hand and letting you discover these dangers on your own. There’s a huge map to explore with many new types of environments to encounter, but you’ll only have a short time to do so as the nighttime only lasts so long. So mechanically the game comes down to handling your crucial business to keep you and your family safe and fed, and then exploring just a little bit further and further every chance you get.

It all makes for a very satisfying loop. I’m also a big fan of Endling’s stylized art, even if it is depicting a series of increasingly depressing situations. This is a very gloomy world, but that also makes the moments of brightness where you find hope and love with your pups shine that much brighter. The “humans bad, destroy planet” message can be a little heavy handed at times, but also, where’s the lie? Even if humans aren’t maliciously destroying parts of our planet, there’s still a real cost to Earth’s other living creatures that’s very worth taking into consideration. Endling does a great job at getting that point across, even if the reality of it is a major downer.

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