This retro anime-inspired adventure game might be the most faithful Studio Ghibli riff yet

(Image credit: Vivarium Game)

We've seen a lot of Ghibli-like indie games this year, but this might be the most faithful one yet. 

Vivarium, which recently debuted during the Wholesome Snack showcase, is a retro anime-inspired adventure game that I can't stop thinking about. As soon as I saw the trailer for this one, I immediately thought of Studio Ghibli's Kiki Delivery Service or My Neighbor Totoro - mostly due to the game's small-town feel and character designs. 

We don't know much about this upcoming indie yet, as this is its first trailer and it doesn't quite have a Steam page yet. What we do know, though, is that a New York-based TV animator is working on it and will focus on life inside of a mysterious terrarium, which can be found in a decrepit home in rural America.

In terms of gameplay, it looks like Vivarium will play like all the best adventure games and will have players exploring their surroundings and adding to a journal. It's tricky to know what the rest of the game will entail at this early stage but we can see the playable protagonist's diary features the tabs: 'Status,' 'Inventory,' 'Map,' 'Log,' and 'System Menu' - which might give you more of an idea of what we'll get up to.

In one scene in the trailer, we can see a pocket watch keeping track of the time and what looks like a shovel equipped to the character. There's also a shop that appears to sell tools, complete with a friendly shopkeeper, and some exploration - which gives Vivarium an almost Stardew Valley or Animal Crossing: New Horizons type of vibe. There's a lot of mystery surrounding this game and I can't wait to see more of it as development progresses.

You can stay up to date with the indie's progress by signing up for the Vivarium newsletter via its official website and by following the game on Twitter

Find out what other hidden gems you should keep an eye out for with our upcoming indie games list.  

Hope Bellingham
News Writer

After studying Film Studies and Creative Writing at university, I was lucky enough to land a job as an intern at Player Two PR where I helped to release a number of indie titles. I then got even luckier when I became a Trainee News Writer at GamesRadar+ before being promoted to a fully-fledged News Writer after a year and a half of training.  My expertise lies in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, cozy indies, and The Last of Us, but especially in the Kingdom Hearts series. I'm also known to write about the odd Korean drama for the Entertainment team every now and then.