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New Metroidvania Animal Well lands on PS Plus today with rave reviews

Animal Well reviews are seeing it out-score the likes of Stellar Blade, and PS4 and PS5 players can jump in through PS Plus right now.

PS Plus Animal Well: A yellow PS Plus symbol on a blue background next to a hand drawn kangaroo

In comparison to Xbox Game Pass, day-one launches aren’t all that common on PS Plus. However, PS4 and PS5 players are getting one today, May 9, in the form of Animal Well, a new and quirky Metroidvania. If it’s not already on your radar, it might be time to change that, because Animal Well reviews are raving about it and dishing out some impressively-high scores.

In recent weeks, the lineup of new PS5 games for the PS Plus Extra and Premium games library has included some bangers like Dave the Diver, NBA 2K24, and Marvel’s Midnight Suns, and now Animal Well is next in line. It’s currently sitting on an extremely commendable average review score of 86 on OpenCritic, trumping some of the best PS5 games of the year so far like Stellar Blade and Helldivers 2 – a mighty effort for a solo-developed indie.

So, what is Animal Well, for those of you hearing about it for the first time? Well, it’s a pixel art platformer-puzzler that sees you take the form of, well, a blob. While it may not look like the most exciting or original protagonist you’ve ever seen, the neon-lit backdrops of the sprawling Well and the various members of the animal kingdom you encounter will make up for your blob’s aesthetic simplicity. Dogs, cats, kangaroos, ostriches, chameleons, and even freakin’ capybaras are just some of the creatures you’ll meet – some friendly, some hostile.

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The Well is a labyrinth that features over 250 separate rooms, each with different puzzles to solve. These can be solved in any order, and many areas will require you to use certain gadgets to crack certain conundrums and unlock new secret areas. It’s this exploration of a seemingly-endless world that reviewers are really praising and that looks set to make Animal Well one of the best Metroidvania games of recent times.

“Once you get deep enough in mystery you’ll be pulling out a pad and pen to try to crack certain codes,” TechRaptor says in its glowing 10/10 review. “Frustration builds up as you know there’s a secret in front of you to be decoded, and there’s no better feeling than cracking the enigma and getting another piece of the larger puzzle.”

Eurogamer also gives Animal Well full marks with a 5/5 score, and its reviewer was left “astonished by the ease with which it presents its ideas, the joy these ideas bring, and the sheer range of magical stuff it includes, [which are] all clipped together in such a satisfying manner.”

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Our pals over at PCGamesN had a few small niggles with aspects like fast travel, but on the whole thought the game was superb and gave it a healthy 8/10. They love its addictive difficulty, and say that “completing anything in Animal Well feels like an achievement – and that sense of triumph is one you want to chase.”

Even if Metroidvanias aren’t typically your thing, Animal Well seems well worth a play – especially if you’re already subbed to PS Plus anyway. If you’re reading this as an Xbox player, unfortunately the game isn’t heading your way just yet – it’s PlayStation, PC, and Switch only for now.

For more big PlayStation news, check out the icy new Helldivers 2 Warbond, or take a look at which of the upcoming Xbox exclusives is reportedly already being lined up for a PlayStation launch some time after launch.