Nintendo’s Pikmin series is charming on the surface, but it’s always felt there was something dark lurking underneath. The adorable aliens that help you can die in all kinds of gruesome ways. You can even toss poisonous Pikmin into the mouths of enemies, where they’ll be eaten alive. Some of the bosses you’ll encounter (like the Waterwraith from Pikmin 2) are genuinely very creepy.

Dap takes these horrific elements and puts them front and center. You start off alone in a lush but unsettling forest. As you explore, you’ll encounter adorable creatures who can only say “dap.” You’ll need to recruit plenty of these creatures so you can collect resources, fight Lovecraftian monsters, and stay alive in an infected world.

Dap game

It’s easy to think of Pikmin when you look at Dap, but the game has plenty of other influences as well. On the game’s website, the creators mention being inspired by The Legend of Zelda, Studio Ghibli movies, and the works of sci-fi legend Philip K. Dick.

The demo I played was oozing with atmosphere, and the game itself feels really polished. The dark pixel art is fantastic, the music is wonderfully moody, and the creatures are actually pretty easy to control, which means enemy encounters aren’t frustrating.

While the Dap demo is no longer available, the developers have said that they might release another demo before the game’s March 2021 release. If you’re a fan of Pikmin — or if you just like creepy games — Dap is a title you’ll want to keep an eye on.

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