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How a Quaint, Cozy Game Hit Its Anti-Authoritarian Beat

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How a Quaint, Cozy Game Hit Its Anti-Authoritarian Beat

Snufkin said ACAB. Okay, not literally “all cops are bastards.” Rather, the hero of Hyper Games Snufkin: Moominvalley Tune He says things like, “If you take down all the signs in a park, the police will leave.” Still, the message remains and is being noticed. Since the game arrived on Steam and Nintendo Switch, it has attracted devotees thanks to Snufkin’s proactive objections to finding his beloved Moominvalley over-policed, reviving some of the 80-year-old franchise’s long-standing philosophies for fans. eager to share them on social networks. media.

A cozy family game set in the world of legendary Finnish cartoonist Tove Jansson. Melody follows Snufkin’s iconic return to Moominvalley after a winter wandering the world. Moomintroll is gone; Ever the optimist, he attempted to reason with the police, which resulted in his indefinite arrest. Snufkin’s main goal is to undermine the park’s guardian, a haughty hemulen who wants to fill the valley with monoculture grasses, mazes of manicured hedges, caged animals, a river-destroying dam, and an ocean of signs dictating how it should be enjoyed. of the nature.

Snufkin’s response to all this is to kick absolute shit, tearing down signage, evading police and dismantling fences, forcibly rebuilding degenerative parks with direct action.

Upon the game’s release on March 7, players became aware of these issues almost immediately. In his review, called vulture Snufkin is “a lovable eco-terrorist” with “‘no gods, no masters’ energy.” On platforms like X, fans have celebrated their jovial fondness for crime; on Reddit, your More explicit anarchist philosophy..

Make no mistake: these themes have been prevalent in Jansson’s work for years. Snufkin has been making fun of the park warden since the 1950s, and people were making tiktok about its response to over-surveillance in 2021 as well. However, seeing these ideas in what is essentially a children’s game on the Switch has brought them to light in a new way.

Not that this was exactly The intention of Hyper Games. When asked, Are Sundnes, the company’s co-founder and CEO, isn’t about to get excited about a radical political agenda at the heart of the game. Directing the game involved a conversation with the franchise’s rights holders, “Moomin Characters Ltd”, an organization chaired by Tove’s niece Sophia Jansson, which oversees new Moomin content.

“It’s been very important to both them and us that we don’t invent too many new things,” Sundnes says. “In one of the books Snufkin removes park signs “makes rules and burns them all in a big fire, then electrocutes the park warden with Hattifatteners… Although Tove Jansson never wrote this exact story, I think it could have taken place in the Moomins canon.”

Generally, Sundnes says, Moomin’s characters don’t actually take political stances on real-world issues; They are not even aware of them. For this reason, “we never set out to make any type of game with political or environmental themes,” she says. “All of those elements came from focusing on Snufkin’s character and Tove Jansson’s stories.”

While the police have been portrayed as ineffective, overzealous, unnecessary, and antagonistic several times throughout the Moomin franchise canon, they have good intentions for the genre and have even resolved situations on occasion, albeit partly unknowingly.

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