Animal Well has quickly risen to become the second best-rated game of 2024, trailing only behind Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth. Despite its small size, Animal Well manages to pack a powerful punch in terms of gameplay and creativity. While Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth takes up nearly 150GB of space, Animal Well is significantly smaller, with my own install only requiring 33.3MB. Developer Billy Basso attributes this efficiency to his choice to program the game in a compact and straightforward manner.

Efficient Programming

Basso’s decision to use a custom engine and low-resolution pixel art assets significantly contributes to the small file size of Animal Well. By eliminating unnecessary features and focusing on the core mechanics of the game, Basso was able to create a game that maximizes efficiency without sacrificing quality. The small size of the game is a testament to Basso’s dedication to creating a streamlined and enjoyable gaming experience for players.

Interestingly, Animal Well takes up more space on consoles, particularly on the PS5, where it requires 101MB of space. Basso explains that this discrepancy is due to the 4K background image that appears in the console UI when the game icon is selected. Despite this difference in file size between platforms, the essence of the game remains the same, showcasing the developer’s ability to optimize resources regardless of the system requirements.

Reviews of Animal Well rave about its endless inventiveness and depth, labeling it as a Metroidvania experience unlike any other. The game’s small file size belies the vast world and intricate gameplay that players will encounter, proving that size does not always correlate with quality. As players delve deeper into the world of Animal Well, they discover layers of complexity and creativity that defy expectations set by its tiny footprint on their devices.

Animal Well stands as a testament to the power of efficient programming and creative design. Despite its small size, the game manages to deliver a gaming experience that rivals its larger counterparts. Billy Basso’s commitment to simplicity and quality shines through in every aspect of Animal Well, captivating players and critics alike with its charm and depth. The success of Animal Well serves as a reminder that sometimes, big things truly do come in small packages.


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