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Slow down a bit and go collecting in Kamaeru: A Frog Refuge

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Kamaeru: A Frog Refuge is another wonderful game built with Godot Engine, for gamers who prefer things a whole lot more chilled. Developed by Humble Reeds and published by Armor Games Studios, my key was provided by Stride PR.

Here you play as Cleo, a young woman who decided to take a break from their boring day-to-day modern life to connect up with an old friend, Axel, who shares your love of Frogs. With your friends help, you begin to build up a sanctuary for frogs and restore the biodiversity of the dried-up wetlands.

This is as much a creature collector as it is a little farming game. Nothing like Stardew Valley though, it's even more laid-back and chilled. Here you're designing and building up a little Frog sanctuary by spreading out various items like bathtubs, logs, chairs, wells and all sorts that will attract new frogs to the area for you to feed up and befriend to add to your collection. You can even take a few snaps of them with your camera to add to your book.

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Outside of building up your sanctuary, you're also something of a conservationist, working to restore the wetlands and bring back some biodiversity. It's a bit of a side-hustle, as it allows you to build up your resources to expand your sanctuary so the two parts of the game go nicely hand in hand.

There's a pretty satisfying loop to it once you get past the tutorial, where you're mostly left to your own devices to continue on as you see fit with some quests. What initially seems quite simple, actually has a surprising amount of depth to it. With a tech tree to unlock more for the wetlands, little mini-games at various parts to help mix-up the gameplay a little and yes there's even Frog breeding so you can fill up that Frogedex.

You can end up finding more than 500 different Frogs across 8 species, so there's always something you could be doing. Although, at times, there is just a bit of sitting around while you wait for your little friends to come and appreciate all the random junk you've put down for them to hop onto. Getting them to be friendly is a bit of a grind too, as they all like different bugs to eat, which is again where restoring the wetlands comes in because that's where you'll get a lot of the bugs.

Not just that, but you also need to keep improving the bioscore of the wetlands, which will help attract more different types of frogs to your sanctuary. So you're constantly flicking around between all the screens to get little jobs done. It is a bit unusual, at least to me, that you don't walk or run around directly yourself, with everything just based on moving the screen around and flicking between parts of the UI. But, you do get used to it, and it does help you slow down a bit and appreciate all that's going on with it being less distracting controlling a character directly.

I've certainly been a bit guilty of being non-stop on many things recently. Never stopping to smell the flowers, so Kamaeru: A Frog Refuge was exactly what was needed for a bit.

With some truly wonderful artwork, it looks rather like a watercolour painting with some gentle motion added, it's quite a little treat for the eyes. Moving items around is also almost like putting stickers in a book too, it's just really rather lovely overall. Much like APICO, another gem about saving the Bees, it gives off coze vibes but has an important message.

“The comforting wetlands of Kamaeru are a great way to unwind and escape from daily life,” said Dan McNeely, CEO & Founder of Armor Games Studios. “As cozy gamers all over the world restore the wetlands in Cleo’s story, we hope it inspires a greater appreciation for nature, the ecosystem we live in, and a drive to protect the froggy friends we make along the way.”

Available with Native Linux support on Steam.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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About the author -
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I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly.
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2 comments

Seems nice.
Caldathras Jun 25
I am sure this is an engaging and relaxing distraction, but as a life-long amateur herpetologist I am quite disturbed by the lack of realism in this game. My concern is that this will give people an unrealistic idea of how to interact with amphibians that will do more harm than good.

For example, there is a gif on the Itch.io page showing the player petting the frogs. Frogs do not like to be handled, the salt in our skin is painful to them. Also, during my 45+ years of amphibian enthusiasm, I have never even heard that it is possible to "crossbreed" different species of frogs. The idea of over 500 species in the same region stretches credulity.

Then there's the picture with the sandbox. The only time you will find a frog on its back is if it's dead. Seriously, unless the sand is very wet, a frog wouldn't even be interested. If it is wet, the frog might choose to burrow into it. Frogs do not generally bask in the sun - especially on dry land - too much risk of desiccation.

Finally, frogs are not attracted to "furniture" in the manner being depicted here. The best you could hope for is that they will choose to hide under the "furniture", assuming that it is cool and moist underneath. Some of the "furniture" objects are portrayed suitably but most are not. If you were to substitute a CAT for the frogs then this "playhouse" concept with all the "furniture" makes sense. Amphibians are not cats.

Perhaps the bit about restoring the wetlands is realistic, I would need to look more deeply into that aspect. Certainly, the opportunity to soak in the ponds and hide among the wetlands plant life would be a far more likely attraction to frogs than "furniture" in a "playhouse". The wetlands and the frog sanctuary should be one and the same.

Here is my criticism/feedback. Thanks for reading all the way through my little rant.
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