Tiny Red Camel
© 2018 Tiny Red Camel
Shrug Island is a hand-drawn musical adventure game set in the inviting world of shapeshifting beings called the Shrugs. Inspired by Nordic landscapes and folk patterns across the world, an artful experience between Flower, Machinarium, and Miyazaki films, Shrug Island is a personal fusion of genres crafted by a small team of music and nature lovers. It is a game about hope, reconnecting friendship, and hidden pasts.
In Chapter 1 (available now) the Watcher, keeper of the Island’s balance, is losing his powers and calls for help. You are invited on an adventure with two separated Shrug friends, Li and Shri, as they heed his call while exploring the shape-shifting musical landscape they've been away from for a season. Using their power to transform the land by playing music or revealing a hidden layer of the world where forgotten things lie, they need your help on their journey towards each other.
- Players exist in an abstract world that features queer coded characters navigating the environment that is metaphorical of queer identity – Meeting the Queer World criteria.
- All of the Shrug are shapeshifters, and each individual Shrug has a gift that affects their body, connecting it to the island and awakens the world around them. The Shrug Li goes by “she/her” pronouns whereas Shri sometimes goes by “he” but has been known to be called “she”. Gender is not central to the Shrugs coming to being and in the Dev Blog it is stated that “as long as they are loved, they will respond to just about anything”.
- Described as a “meta-poem” response to personal struggles with community and isolation, questions of fluid bodies and queer identities, the interaction between Li and Shri highlights the importance that shared experiences can result in a shared dialect – no matter how far removed.
- Created by Tiny Red Camel and queer game designer Alina Constantin.