Timberline Studio debuts with The Red Lantern, a friendly survival game with a strong narrative load. Timberline Studio is made up of a team of only seven people, and in it we can find veterans of large companies such as Obsidian or Blizzard, and former Dysney animators.
The Red Lantern, the first game of the study, gives off care and good vibes at all times, even in difficult times, something that perhaps clashes with the genre in which it is included, that of survival, characterized by being relentless with the player . Does Timberline successfully resolve this posture clash? Join us in the following analysis to clear up doubts.
Narrative, dogs and the fight for survival
The components of Timberline Studio are united by a love of dogs and nature. Several of the members of the study have beautiful dogs and like to take routes between valleys and mountains. Conversing in a coffee shop, the idea was born in the founding members of making games mixing these passions with their admiration for the narrative possibilities that video games offered. The result is The Red Lantern, which has recently arrived on Switch and PC.
We begin by choosing our travel companions, five dogs with a marked and defined personality. There is the playful, the shy, the curious, the lazy … From the beginning we want to empathize with those dog friends on whom our lives will depend on the journey that awaits us. The danger of our journey is sensed from the same options, where we can choose whether or not our animals may die. The tension rises with this detail while we fearfully press the Start button.
An overnight van trip on a road surrounded by lush forest in Alaska. The night rages on as the windshield wipers struggle to keep our vision free of rebellious and playful snowflakes. We speak aloud (in English and subtitled in the same language, there is no localization to Spanish) about the great adventure that awaits us. We show our sensitivity, our motivations, we cuddle the dogs that accompany us and we express doubts about the dangers that await us. Without revealing the plot, we simply tell you that, once we leave our vehicle parked, we will have to sled from point A to point B. There a warm refuge awaits us, but first we must cross the inhospitable ice and rugged terrain of Alaska .