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Harold Halibut - a beautiful handmade/stop-motion narrative game

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Yes, I know I posted this one in the indie thread, but I figured giving it its own dedicated one couldn't hurt either!


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Harold Halibut is a handmade narrative game about friendship, and life on a city-sized spaceship submerged in an alien ocean.



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Game Information

Game Title: Harold Halibut


  • Xbox Series X/S (Apr 16, 2024)
  • PlayStation 5 (Apr 16, 2024)
  • PC (Apr 16, 2024)


    Review Aggregator:

OpenCritic - 74 average - 57% recommended

Critic Reviews



3DNews - Алексей Лихачев - Russian - 9 / 10

A wonderful claymation adventure with an exciting plot that's not supposed to be played if you are in a hurry. It's slow and a bit lengthy, but every minute spent in it is worth it in the end.

Bazimag - Hamidreza Ghaneei - Persian - 7.5 / 10

Overall, Harold Halibut offers a visually stunning and distinct experience, though it falls short of reaching its full potential as a comprehensive adventure game due to shortcomings in its story and gameplay. In my opinion, despite these flaws, it's definitely worth experiencing at least once.

COGconnected - Mark Steighner - 78 / 100

In the end, I think Harold Halibut ought to be experienced for its amazing technical achievement, if nothing else. While its gameplay doesn’t always engage, its narrative, characters, and themes are coherent in the manner of good speculative fiction. Both Harold the character and Harold Halibut the game are weird, wonderful, and quite unlike anything we’ve seen this year.

Digital Trends - Giovanni Colantonio - 3 / 5

Though Harold Halibut leaves me with a lot to pick at, it’s a fitting debut for what’s sure to become one of gaming’s most exciting new studios. Like Harold himself, Slow Bros. finds itself pushing gaming’s mundane comfort zone into the stratosphere with an approach that few will dare to replicate. It’s a bold risk; I’m sure the studio could have made a lot of commercially viable games in the 14 years it took to put this together. But why settle for stagnation?

Echo Boomer - André Pereira - Portuguese - Recommended

Harold Halibut is a beautiful game overflowing with love and ambition that would be better consumed in the form of a movie or series, falling just short in execution.

Eurogamer - Chris Tapsell - 3 / 5

A visually arresting, warm-hearted tale of a gofer searching for his purpose, Harold Halibut flounders amongst endless fetch-quests and waffle.

Everyeye.it - Gennaro Saraino  - Italian - 8.2 / 10

With a development that lasted twelve years, it is legitimate to wonder if Harold Halibut is a fully successful operation: what we can tell you is that the work of the German studio has convinced us, thanks to a mature and engaging narrative capable of dealing with themes that are anything but obvious.

GamesCreed - Laikyn Siebritz - 4.6 / 5

If you are someone who enjoys a story-rich gaming experience, Harold Halibut is an absolute gem that deserves a spot on your must-play list. Harold is an enchanting character who helps to bring the stories of the people of the FEDORA 1 to life. Harold’s journey is not just about unraveling the mysteries of the FEDORA 1 but also about self-discovery and personal growth. Slow Bros deserves to be recognized for Harold Halibut, they have poured so much into this game that even if you don’t usually enjoy these types of games or this game genre it is still worth giving it a try.

GamesRadar+ - Rollin Bishop - 4 / 5

"The handcrafted, stop-motion look and feel to this world makes every imperfection just another lovely detail"

GamingTrend - Corvo Rohwer - 90 / 100

Transcending the line between video game and interactive art piece, Harold Halibut explores the meaning of home on an isolated alien water world. While some pacing issues exist within the larger story, the handcrafted visuals that consistently charm alongside an extravagant cast make this a treat for fans of narrative adventures.

Hobby Consolas - David Rodriguez - Spanish - 78 / 100

Harold Halibut gives shape to an attractive story led by a protagonist who manages to surprise the player. The magnificent handcrafted art section accompanies this good script, but at times its approach becomes somewhat heavy in terms of gameplay. Here's a good narrative adventure that could have aspired to be so much more.

IGN - Tristan Ogilvie - 8 / 10

It may take place at the bottom of the ocean on a distant alien planet, but Harold Halibut’s story is an entirely human one, both in terms of its carefully handmade environments and its strong emphasis on empathy towards its eccentric cast of characters. While I wish that there was a little more interactivity to be found throughout its subaquatic setting, and Harold’s shuffling run could have been boosted to a sprint to reduce the time spent repeatedly schlepping from one end of its levels to the other, I nonetheless remained captivated by his whimsical quest to unite his community and explore the spectacular surroundings of his sunken home. Consistently funny and full of surprises, Harold Halibut is a wholesome, handcrafted adventure with plenty of heart.

LadiesGamers.com - Kalina Mikova - Loved

Harold Halibut is a long-awaited game that more than pays off the wait. It’s a classic adventure game with a lot of soul that shouldn’t be missed.

Metro GameCentral - GameCentral - 6 / 10

It would probably make a better movie than a game, but there's still a unique charm about Harold Halibut and his slow-paced journey to discover his place in life.

NoobFeed - Andres Aviles - 100 / 100

When an ambitious concept is as perfectly executed as it is here, it is imperative to celebrate the creative achievement that it truly is. Not only for the lasting emotion a superbly-told story gives but for all the artistic disciplines that coalesced to form this work of art. Harold Halibut is a feat rarely seen where a comedic sci-fi journey of self-discovery triumphs in leaving a mark that you will always treasure.

PC Gamer - Joshua Wolens - 60 / 100

A great artstyle and flashes of brilliance never truly make up for a meandering, risk-averse plot.

PlayStation Universe - Adam Byrne - 8.5 / 10

Though plaudits will be rightly levelled at its appearance, Harold Halibut is equally as impressive when it comes to its narrative, world-building, and how both are realised. Despite being relatively light in gameplay terms, the game packs a punch where it matters by sticking its landing and proving beyond doubt that the answer to the meaning of life may be closer to home than you think.

Press Start - Brodie Gibbons - 6 / 10

Harold Halibut's narrative, setting and visuals are so wonderful and creative from a sci-fi perspective, it's an enormous shame it's housed within such a one-note and heartbreakingly boring video game.

Pure Xbox - Craig Reid - 8 / 10

Harold Halibut is a heartfelt and handcrafted tale of human existence, delivering charming, profound, and deeply funny writing guaranteed to put a smile on your face. What Slow Bros has managed to achieve with its visual style is masterful and, for our money, it's now one of the best looking games on Xbox. The gameplay can feel repetitive at times, and the writing can drag in places, but ultimately we had a great experience seeing it through to the end. If you've got a Game Pass subscription, it's worth checking the game out for its aesthetic alone. Harold Halibut won't be for everybody, but for those that resonate with its story, it's sure to stick with you for a long time.

Push Square - Stephen Tailby - 5 / 10

We really wanted to love Harold Halibut, and there are some redeeming qualities. Its wonderful aesthetic is unique and detailed, it has a great sci-fi hook, and there are some good moments throughout the story. Unfortunately, these aspects depreciate due to a prolonged runtime, most of which is filled with slow, repetitive treks from one scene to the next. The narrative is left to hold everything together, but it sadly doesn't quite stick the landing thanks to pacing issues and some iffy writing. This is one fish you might want to let get away.

Shacknews - Lucas White - 9 / 10

2024 has been a year so full of RPGs I can’t begin to imagine ever being able to finish all of them. Coming across Harold Halibut in the middle of so many massive, complicated adventures was a breath of fresh air. Just being able to slow down, soak in all the impressive minutia of a world built entirely by hand in an art studio, and wonder about what it was like to construct and digitize, felt like a release. I was able to let go a bit of having control over every piece of a game, and still have a story in front of me that was thoughtful and engaging enough to sit with me well after the credits rolled. Even the parts that felt rough around the edges were refreshing, as they enhanced the very human feelings that are so clearly front and center here. Harold Halibut is the kind of game I discovered by accident, but one I’m grateful to have come across in that way.

Siliconera - Daniel Bueno - 10 / 10

Harold Halibut looks beautiful on the outside, and it is even more beautiful once you dive into it. The visuals are an undeniable technical achievement. Its gameplay is undemanding, making the game accessible for many people, even those who are not familiar with the medium of video games. The story and narrative are easy to follow, and depict a modern fable about finding your own home, connecting with others, sharing your perspective, and finding what you want from life.

Slant Magazine - Aaron Riccio - Unscored

Ultimately, Harold Halibut’s abundance of charm doesn’t translate to the game being charming, and in the end, while there’s plenty to see here, there’s just nothing to do.

The Games Machine - Daniele Cucchiarelli - Italian - 7.5 / 10

A VERY special adventure, both in aesthetic and narrative terms. The story starts slowly and with very few explanations, but as the game progresses it becomes more and more interesting and does not disdain to touch important chords. The mechanics are the classic ones of a graphic adventure but the gameplay has a few too many angularities due to a bit of "dirt" in the code. Finally, the total lack of localization in Italian could be a significant obstacle given that the tone of the dialogues is well above the classic school English.

TheGamer - Meg Pelliccio - 4 / 5

One thing’s for certain: you’ve never played a game like Harold Halibut before. You may have played cinematic narrative adventure titles before, but none offer up such a striking stop-motion style and thought-provoking narrative, especially when paired with a winning combination of mystery, heartfelt character relationships, and quirky artistic flair. You will question your own path in life and whether you’re truly happy, then leave you wondering how to find your own bluglglgl.

TheSixthAxis - Adrian Burrows - 4 / 10

Harold Halibut looks great, like one of Aardman's finest, only as a video game. Unfortunately, it's the game part that underwhelms, offering a distinctly tedious narrative adventure that is a chore to play.

Try Hard Guides - Erik Hodges - 10 / 10

While not your most traditional “game,” Harold Halibut is without a doubt a true work of art, something the likes of which we haven’t seen before and are unlikely to see again.

Wccftech - Nathan Birch - 7.5 / 10

With engaging puzzles in the mix, I truly believe Harold Halibut could have joined the pantheon of great classic-style adventure games. As is, it’s a title that consistently kept me hooked over the course of its 7-to-8-hour story but didn’t fully reel me in like the very best of the genre.

Xbox Achievements - Richard Walker - 65%

Harold Halibut's handmade world has bags of charm, but its sedentary pace and largely uneventful narrative might not be to everyone's tastes. Great stories stay with you, but, sadly, I'm not sure Harold's will.

XboxEra - Jon Clarke - 6.8 / 10

Whether you’ll enjoy your time with Harold Halibut and the various Fedorans you’ll meet really comes down to what kind of person and gamer you are – if you enjoy deeply narrative games where the focus in more on story and a sense of place, with a very simple gameplay loop, then you’ll fit right in -and I suspect come to adore your time aboard the Fedora.

video games are good - Nathan Hermanson - 8 / 10

Harold Halibut is an artistic achievement that I've not quite experienced in gaming before. Every game is handcrafted in some way, but Harold Halibut takes that concept and cranks it up to 11. And while its world and story are made up of inorganic materials, Harold Halibut's clay, wood, and paint communicated humanity even more than some games that aim to directly replicate it through photorealism or otherwise. With its occasional dryness and true depictions of life's ordinariness, it steps a little too far in that direction at times. But, if anything, the fact that it isn't perfect makes it even more human.


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So I've played this for a bit. I would definitely describe it as quirky. I don't really have too many objections so far. I guess my first impressions were I thought it was supposed to be stop motion but it felt very fluid at 60. I turned it on quality mode just so I could have a more framey experience.

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37 minutes ago, XxEvil AshxX said:

I feel like the general consensus on it is that it's visually quirky and interesting, but also boring as shit. I'll wait for more impressions.


I think maybe if you were expecting a game like Abe's Odyssee you might call it boring, but it's like if you were playing a Wes Anderson movie where you had to walk around doing errands for people and getting into conversations, would you consider that boring? Then you won't like this game.


I would put it in one of those cozy game categories, like it doesn't demand much of you and you're there just to take in the story and characters.

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