The world we live in can often be described as foul or gloomy, consumed with hate and a division that is splitting our nations in two. It is often hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel and it’s easy to fear that the world will never change. However, the world seems less bleak when a gem like Lonely Wolf Treat is unearthed. Hope for the future erupts like a geyser, purity and innocence collides and relief can finally set in even, if it’s just for a little while.
The best part about finding an indie game is the ability to connect with it on a deeper level. They tend to spark an interest that many mainstream games can’t. Lonely Wolf Treat drew me in, like a moth to a flame based on one simple aspect, the ascetics. The second I saw it on itch I was reminded of Harvest Moon: More Friends of Mineral Town. The pathways and landscapes have similar art designs which made me feel welcomed in a way many games can’t offer. While I was drawn in because of nostalgia, I stayed for the messages it sends.
The game begins with a lone wolf named Treat wandering around a snow-filled forest. The music tells a tale of excitement and wonder however Treat gives off a different aurora. She seems lost and afraid and especially so when she stumbles upon an avalanche site. Foreshadowing of events to come, sorrow fills her face as she must make the long journey to the nearest town. After what appears to be several in-game hours, she arrives at a town with several houses. They have no diversity, they are all the same size, shape, and shade of pink. This incites a feeling of dread, especially as Treat meets the first citizen, a tight-lipped bunny. She is unhappy to see Treat and immediately runs in the opposite direction screaming hateful dialogue. Treat must track her down and confront her, but she is only met with fear and discrimination, being told that “her kind” in unwelcome. This causes the shop owner and other citizens around town to fear Treat simply because she is a wolf. She is cast aside because of who she is.
Treat went into hiding for several months, never leaving her home until one day she runs out of food and must venture off to the supermarket. She is once again told she is unworthy by several of the townspeople leading Treat back to her home to wallow. She awakens one day to a bunny running around her home like a Tasmanian devil. A fox tried to attack her, and she seeks salvation. Treat scares off the fox and Mochi, the bunny, is forever in her debt. To repay her, Mochi is determined to make Treat a special curry dish. They travel around town together and Mochi starts to see that Treat is no different than her. They forage a beautiful friendship and together overcome diversity.
Lonely Wolf Treat tackles the tough issues head on. It allows gamers to see discrimination in a way they haven’t seen before, which makes it an easier topic to swallow. I love a storyline that teaches a lesson and Lonely Wolf Treat delivers. Overall, it is a beautifully crafted game and I look forward to trying out the other chapters in the series. Treat can teach a lesson, the world ought to follow.