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YouTuber Dunkey’s publishing company is releasing its first game on May 9

Animal Well is bringing Metroidvania goodness to the Switch, PC and PS5

Big Mode

YouTube sensation Dunkey, aka videogamedunkey or Jason Gastrow, has added game publishing to his resume. He started a company called Big Mode last year, which is releasing its first title on May 9. Animal Well is a sidescrolling Metroidvania platformer that will show up on the PS5, the Nintendo Switch and PCs. There’s a trailer that’s absolutely oozing with retro-gaming goodness.

Now, Dunkey didn’t make this game. Big Mode is a publisher and not a developer. A company called Shared Memory is behind Animal Well, which is just a solo dev named Billy Basso. He’s been working on the game for seven years and his hard work shows from the trailer.

Animal Well looks to lean a bit into psychedelia. There’s a blistering color palette, a synth-heavy soundtrack and, of course, a giant white cat that takes up the whole screen. There also looks to be tough platforming sections and the kinds of power ups that populate the Metroidvania genre. In any event, this looks like yet another delicious appetizer before Hollow Knight: Silksong eventually releases in the year 2087.

While Basso hasn’t released any games on his own yet, the developer did work on Octodad: Deadliest Catch and Bugsnax, among others. As for Dunkey, he’s a YouTuber, but one with pretty good taste. He knows his stuff and loves trashing bad games. If you’ve ever seen a meme taking the piss out of the beleaguered PlayStation mascot Knack, Dunkey probably had something to do with it.

Animal Well is the first game published by Big Mode, but not the last. The company has major plans for the future, including a bullet hell shooter called Star of Providence. Big Mode is also accepting submissions from developers, though not if the game includes “NFTs, crypto or blockchain.” If only Starbucks had such discerning taste.