Just what is it with games about cleaning up? Whether you’re power-washing fences and walls in PowerWash Simulator or gathering junk from the ocean in Loddlenaut, there’s something seriously satisfying about cleaning other people’s digital mess. There’s a new one on the block now, too: it’s called Spilled, and it’s absolutely adorable.
Spilled puts you in charge of a boat capable of cleaning up oil spills. The waterways you find yourself on are littered with oil, detritus and other types of ruinous material and, thankfully, you can clear it up simply by moving over it. That’s the oil, at least. Litter and detritus needs to be swept up with a tool attached to the front of your boat, then pushed towards the nearest recycling station. While oil spills on rocks at the side of the water need to be sprayed away.
As you gather oil and return waste to the recycling plant, you’ll earn coins which can then be spent on various boat upgrades. These come in three types: increased speed, a bigger waste collector and a bigger tank, allowing you to deal with more oil at once. There are also animals to be found, waiting to be rescued by driving into them.
It’s all super easy, then, and seeing the waters in Spilled change from murky brown to crystal-clear blue is seriously satisfying. If you like the sound of all this, there’s a free demo available now. It’s only around 10 minutes long, but it’s enough to give you a delectable taste of life on the dirty rivers – and it’s enough to let you know you need more of it.
In the full version of the game, you’ll deal with more problems, such as plastics, wildfires and retrieving lost items. There’ll be eight areas in total, covering four different biomes each with their own unique appearance.
Perhaps the coolest thing about Spilled is that this is an indie project from a solo developer. Lente is a 23 year old from the Netherlands, and most cool is the fact she lives on her own boat. We’re seriously in awe of all solo developers, and the fact that Lente has drawn on her own experiences in creating Spilled makes it all the more appealing.
OK, her boat (as cool as it looks) can’t miraculously clean up oil just by moving over it. But Spilled has been designed with the goal of spreading awareness of pollution in mind. It’s being made from an eco-friendly point of view, which is absolutely something worth supporting.
And support Spilled you can: Lente has just launched a Kickstarter, where a pledge of just $7 will get you a copy of the game once it’s available. Happily, it’s been fully funded ($10,000) in just 12 hours. More pledges mean Lente has additional time and money to pour into the game, and a range of stretch goals are to be announced as the Kickstarter goes on.
Spilled is set to release later this year, but you should give the demo a try now. And if you want to show your support, pay the Kickstarter a visit.