Guinea Pig Parkour's creator turned his childhood pet into a coffee-fueled free runner

Coffee truly is a nectar of the gods. It can be both a dark, bitter kick-start to the day and a sweet, milky comfortable pick-me-up. PC Gamer is practically fuelled on the stuff, I'm drinking a cup of it as I write these very words. If a single cup can grant the gift of boundless energy to a human, what are the effects on smaller creatures, like for instance guinea pigs? Well, according to Guinea Pig Parkour the effect is tenfold and they'll transform into a tracksuit wearing, parkour master. If only that happened to humans.

In Guinea Pig Parkour you play as a coffee bean collecting guinea pig called Joe as he flings and flips himself through the colourful world inspired by the '90s. At the beginning of the game, Joe is just a normal guinea pig chilling in his cage, but after tasting the deliciously dark nectar of some spilled coffee Joe gets a sweet lightning shot of that coffee jolt and transforms him into a hyperactive free-running expert.

This electrifying buzz can be felt throughout the whole game, specifically through it's bold, and energetic 2D animation. There have been many games with hand-drawn animation released recently, but the way that Joe's movements are animated is like nothing I've seen before. 

The way that Joe hurls himself around obstacles, spinning wildly through the air, bouncing like a rubber ball around environments is mesmerizing. It looks like he has no bones like a blob of gloop, the cutest blob of gloop, ever. Joe zips, dashes, and vaults around environments, and in one boss battle gives a certain mustachioed plumber with red and blue overalls a quick run around. Joe does get some downtime though and can chat with other characters, pick up items, and solve puzzles in the style of 90s adventure games. Even when he's not bouncing off the walls, his walking animation exudes energy. 

This hand-drawn animation style is the work of Jeff Mumm who is not only drawing all of Guinea Pig Parkour's animations from scratch, but is also the sole creator of the entire game. Mumm has been working on Guinea Pig Parkour for years with his main inspiration being games like Day of the Tentacle, Sam and Max: Hit the Road, and Earthworm Jim. However, the most wholesome influence is that guinea pig protagonist is based on Mumm's very own childhood guinea pig, also named Joe. 

Guinea Pig Parkour looks like a lot of fun to play and it's certainly a unique style of parkour I want to try. The game is currently at the tail end of its Kickstarter campaign (90% funded at the time of writing) and Mumm is planning on a release for December 2020. Rewards for backers include an early access build, a downloadable OST, and, if you pledge enough, you'll get access to Mumm's online course ' absolute Beginner's Entry to 2D Animation' through Udemy. 

Rachel Watts

Rachel had been bouncing around different gaming websites as a freelancer and staff writer for three years before settling at PC Gamer back in 2019. She mainly writes reviews, previews, and features, but on rare occasions will switch it up with news and guides. When she's not taking hundreds of screenshots of the latest indie darling, you can find her nurturing her parsnip empire in Stardew Valley and planning an axolotl uprising in Minecraft. She loves 'stop and smell the roses' games—her proudest gaming moment being the one time she kept her virtual potted plants alive for over a year.