Most of us weren't born early enough to witness the pioneering of American animation during the early 1900s. Classics such as Steamboat Willie (opens in new tab) , Betty Boop (opens in new tab) , and Felix the Cat (opens in new tab) brightened many faces troubled by the Great Depression with a distinctive, bouncy style—a humble hand-drawn origin for the richly colored CGI of today's films. As games reflect the kind of art we enjoy in our culture, I'm glad for the extra attention given to Fleish & Cherry (opens in new tab) , a Greenlit puzzler themed after Fleischer-esque cartoons with a tale of rescue, jealousy, and obligatory slapstick humor.
Spanish indie group Red Little House (opens in new tab) put noticeable effort in modeling Fleish & Cherry's look after the cartoons it tributes right down to the Pac-Man eyeballs and the somewhat creepy motif of faces on nearly every inanimate object. Reversing the roles of many of the cartoons it references, you play as Cherry searching for your sweetheart Fleish the Fox, a rising actor captured by an envious rival.
Rescuing your man-in-distress means exploring Toonville and solving puzzles using cartoony gags such as flattening yourself with an anvil to access small spaces or ballooning up on helium to float over water. The game's isometric view is a neat angle to take in the visual style of each room and location, but I'm personally hoping for some more complex, Zelda-style challenges keeping to the cartoony silliness.
Fleish & Cherry has a downloadable alpha available to play (opens in new tab) with the caveat of in-progress animations and the sole location of a hotel lobby to run around in. Red Little House hasn't announced a release date yet.
Thanks, Kotaku (opens in new tab) .