Niche – a genetics survival game for PC is turn-based strategy game with roguelike elements, in which you take care of the survival of a species of animals created by yourself. This is the first production by a small studio called Stray Fawn and based in Zurich.
In the short story campaign, you play as Adam, a docile creature taken from its family by a bird of prey, who finds itself on an unknown island. Adam has to quickly learn how to survive on its own, encountering many threats, dangerous predators, experiencing hunger and other hardships of life in the wild. When it grows up, it starts to court a female critter called Eve.
Niche – a genetics survival game is based on biological selective breeding mechanics and the discoveries of such scientists as Gregor Mendel and Charles Darwin. During a single session, you are responsible for a group of unique creatures. Your task is to keep them alive as long as possible in a randomly generated environment. In each turn, the critters can perform certain actions, e.g. gather food, explore, or fight other creatures. The main aspect, however, is breeding, where you can pair the creatures up, resulting in each generation getting closer to perfection.
Each creature has dominant and recessive genes, providing helpful and detrimental characteristics. If your predators can't handle bigger prey, you can consider mating with a male that has venomous fangs. But, on the other hand, it may not be a good idea to pass on genes that cause reduced blood coagulation, which may slow down healing after a fight. The mutations – or unpredictable changes in the genetic material of the offspring – are a curious addition. They can cause huge qualitative leaps and help evolve your species more quickly.
The game features visuals that are simple but stylish. The sparse use of polygons and warm, contrasting colors bring to mind a family-friendly cartoon. Especially noteworthy is the system allowing you to choose the body parts for your creatures, making them all look distinct, but also keeping a dose of realism. The soundtrack features tribal music and simple instruments, which match the naturalistic theme of the game well.
The prototype of the game was the master's thesis of Philomena Schwab, one of the founders of Stray Fawn. At first, she wanted to study biology, but eventually decided to develop her game designing skills, bringing her two passions together in her first project. The production was also funded with a Kickstarter campaign.
Game mode: single player
Age restrictions Niche - a genetics survival game: Good for all ages.
Niche - a genetics survival game System requirements
PC / Windows
- Intel Dual Core 2 GHz
- 4 GB RAM
- graphic card GeForce 8800 GT/ Radeon 4670
- 1 GB HDD
- Windows Vista/7/8/10