Animal Well (PlayStation 5)

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Animal Well is a beautiful and mysterious puzzle-based Metroid-vania 2D platformer. I'm fascinated by the spooky animal world, and love how dense the environments are with unique mechanics and secrets. And it's incredibly cool that I'm discovering the game mechanics just by fiddling around with the items.

screenshot
Image source: animalwell.net

Passwords / Cheat Codes

  • Current status

    • I'm missing the candle in the middle of the 9 candles (I also don't have a match),
    • I have nailed the Kangaroo once with a firecracker and got a fragment thing, and
    • I played the Secret Rabbit code in front of the TV, but did no other rabbit-related things.

Facts

  • The game was developed by a single person, Billy Basso, over a 7 year period. It uses a custom engine developed for the game.

  • When you get killed, you respawn at the last telephone, but your puzzle progress doesn't revert.

  • The graphics of this game is tile-based, according to the 2022 developer interview in gamedeveloper.com.

  • The cat cages react to the flute.

  • I found a code in a room full of ghost mouse heads:

    ↘️⬅️
    ↗️↘️
    ➡️

  • You can turn into Fez Guy by pressing ↑↑↑.

  • Secret Rabbit code: ↗ ↖ ↙ ↘ ⬆ ⬅ ⬇ ➡

Analysis

  • I think the big space donut is a representation of the world - it seems that both the x- and y-axis of the map wraps around, corresponding to the topology of a donut.

Log entries

    2024-05-09
  • This nice looking puzzle Metroidvania is out today, and I got it for 165.60 DKK.

  • We explored the mysterious world of Animal Well, finding nervous squirrels, hidden eggs, and a scary cat ghost. I feel like we are uncovering a lot of terrain, but not really solving many puzzles.

  • 2024-05-10
  • Malu asked an important question for this game: 'Will you ever not be a potato?' :)

  • 2024-05-11
  • This game is amazing! I started a new game and went a different way than the first time. I ended up getting the Balloon Wand, which changed the game a lot. I now effectively have a double jump anywhere there is room for a bubble to form, and can even do a simultaneous jump-bubble move where I can ascend infinitely, as long as there is space for bubbles to form.

  • The next item I got was the Slinky, which allows me to trigger buttons that are out of reach. It's such a cute idea, easy to understand and used in a lot of clever ways.

  • I just got the Flute, and I can now play 8 different pitches. I reached a room full of animals heads, and shouted in excitement when I realized it was a fast travel system. I went down and learned a flute song from a fish: RRLLDDUU which sends me to the fast travel room. So cool!

  • Got the Frisbee and rode it by accident.

  • Got the GHOST trophy. -

    I took the Mock Disc and transported it to the Mock Disc Shrine, which required some planning and practice. After that, I did it on the second try.

  • Here are my predictions, before I get spoiled: You can draw with the pencil on the map to make something happen in the world. There is a loud bird sound at regular (very long) intervals - you probably have to reply to it using the flute or something.

  • I played 5 hours so far, and only missing the Ostrich 'boss', I think.

  • 2024-05-15
  • I tried the ghost mouse code in the cat cage room, and it set one cat free. I need to find more codes.

  • I was having trouble with the moving blocks in the cat cage area, until Malu pointed out that there are two types, vertical red mouse head blocks and horizontal blue mouse blocks. They are powered by two different hamster wheels that you need to orient correctly. I have now found a new area with an ostrich in a wheel.

  • 2024-05-17
  • I found what seems to be a door that gets unlocked by lighting candles to the left of the place where the little potato guy originally spawned.

  • There is an area that has two dog statues that look like they are mid jump. The same dog sprite is released from statues by the dog ghost. Maybe I should lure the dog ghost here?

  • 2024-05-19
  • I just saw the concept 'bubble warp' mentioned. I wonder what it means?

  • Ostrich down, got Lantern. Very fascinating.

  • I'm being attacked by a big cat monster thing with laser eyes.

  • Completed the game on difficulty ().

    I beat it with fireworks. And now for some very short credits!

  • I have access to a little house with a TV and couch and stuff. On the other side is a giant mysterious clock, where I found a squirrel with a stopwatch. Apparently some sort of time trial mode. Further along is a big space donut looking thing, and a well - the well, I guess - which wraps around to the top of the map.

  • Got the SECRET RABBIT trophy. -

    I got several new equipment, B. B. Wand (multi-bubble wand), and the remote. It was super cool to learn to control the snake using the remote.

  • Using the remote of the TV yield a sequence of faces:

    frown, eyes angry
    frown, eyes sad
    smile, eyes angry
    smile, eyes sad
    frown, eyes vertical
    frown, eyes horizontal
    smile, eyes vertical
    smile, eyes horizontal
    

    On the big cipher above and to the left of the house, this yields the following directions:

    ↗ ↖ ↙ ↘
    ⬆ ⬅ ⬇ ➡
    

    Which I played back on the Flute in front of the TV. This yielded the SECRET RABBIT trophy.


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syltefar.com v.2.3.3 2024-05-31