As far as survival games go, CHKN is certainly... unique.
CHKN has some of the usual survival trappings: you’ve gotta eat to live, collect/kill to eat, and the game world’s god just said “fuck it, I’m tired” when faced with the idea of creating any shape other than a cube. But it also has creature creation, and that’s where things quickly take a turn for the bizarre.
Did you see those things? Did you see the things I saw? Some kind of crabodile, a goat snake hydra hybrid, a very unfortunate-looking bipedal mandog, cactus-legged chickens—the list goes on.
They have emotions, too. Emotions like KILL:
You can also tame and befriend them. It’s kinda adorable, except what in the nightmare-fucking tentacle christ is this thing:
I actually really like the idea. It’s a smart, unique continuation of the big thing that helped Ark: Survival Evolved come out of nowhere and claim the survival game throne: a world populated by tame-able creatures. I just have mortal human instincts and a deep-seated fear of the unknown, especially when the unknown looks like somebody took The Known, ate it, and vomited up the parts.
But you know, perhaps getting us to empathize with creatures beyond our understanding is one of gaming’s secret greatest strengths. Think of how bad you felt when you killed colossi in Shadow of the Colossus. Or how much you loved creatures in Black & White, despite how annoying they could get? Oh man, what about your walking genetic cesspit race in Spore? Maybe this is just the next step in that progression.
I mean, check out this hypothetical situation proposed by the game’s developers:
“You and your creature are starving to death. Do you feed your creature the last of your apples? Or do you cook your creature into a burger to feed yourself!?? Too much? OK.”
They’re not wrong! I feel bad just thinking about it!
Wait, does that chicken monster have three spider faces?
Fuck this, I’m out.
(The game is out on Steam Early Access right now.)
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