Right off the bat, Zoink! and EA Originals' Fe reminded me of Giant Squid's ABZU. It's got a similar stylistic feel to the characters and sets, the individual areas each have a personality, and there is little to no dialogue nor instruction. Both games are something of a pure adventure, because what you get is entirely up to you. The story is there for you to find it as you go, and most of it you come across by finding small details and piecing together an intricate story bit by understated bit. Both are single-player exploration games that have centered themselves on a love for the natural world, with a touch of the supernatural involved.
They're also both incredibly gorgeous games that attack a problem very dear to me from two separate angles. Both Fe and ABZU deal with over-industrialization and the negative impact humans have had on this planet. In ABZU you are an android, however — something mechanical, made by the humans to save the oceans, to befriend the sea life and bring some majestic animals back to life while also completely trouncing the robots who are actively harming the eco-system. In Fe, you are one of those endangered creatures yourself. And while you do befriend the other animals in the forest, you are something completely natural, even if this forest is perhaps not your environment. But that anti-corporate, eco-friendly thread remains strong in Fe. Very early on in the game, you must rescue some of your fellow animals from the clutches of humanoid-robots who will imprison any life-form they come across.
While I still have much of Fe left to explore, the message behind the game was very clear to me from the start, and despite how endearing the character design and world of the game is, that message is still heartbreaking. I confess, I've been dragging my heels a bit in Fe simply to run around the gorgeous environments and poke my tiny nose into every single crevice. It's hard not to stop and smell the roses when those flowers very literally help you save the world around you.
Fe releases tomorrow, February 16th, for PS4, Xbox One, PC via Origin, and Nintendo Switch. The game will only set you back $19.99 USD, which is a frankly fantastic bargain.