‘Endling’ mixes the mature horror of ‘Children of Men’ with Pixar-like storytelling

Endling – Extinction is Forever is an upcoming indie game that examines the horrors of environmental catastrophe and apocalypse through a Pixar-like lens. And it looks phenomenally impactful.

Endling – Extinction is Forever is a little upcoming indie game that just delivered a big hit to my increasingly calloused heart. Every day there seems to be a new headline, flanked by a dozen others you don’t notice, that reminds you where we are headed.

Environmental catastrophe, geopolitical conflict, and human cruelty are now, unfortunately, as inescapable as they are depressing. It is therefore no surprise these themes have become mainstays in entertainment and art – but in the context of video games, what Endling – Extinction is Forever is doing is fascinating and unique.

endling - extinction is forever
Image: Endling – Extinction is Forever / Herobeat Studios

In Endling, you take on the role of the last mother fox who, along with her three offspring, must battle to survive in a world that no longer feels like home. You must navigate all sorts of threats, while simultaneously teaching your young how to fend for themselves, in the hope that you can discover a new safe haven.

Over the course of your adventure you will be forced to make difficult decisions with potentially horrific consequences, holding the fate of your children, as well as yourself, in your hands.

In other words, Endling is likely to break your heart, and isn’t the sort of thing one would typically show to their kids. Except that’s exactly what you should do.

endling extinction is forever
Image: Endling – Extinction is Forever / Herobeat Studios

The younger generation aren’t to blame for the predicament the world is in, but that won’t stop them from inheriting a planet of mass extinction and dwindling resources. Like the 2006 film Children of Men before it, Endling asks us to stare down our future with courage and compassion, in the hope that it can still be altered.

And if it can’t, to at least cling to the ties that bond us; to the knowledge that we must limp forwards together – undivided.

The fact that Endling attempts to deal with such serious issues in a child-friendly (as much as is possible) manner should be applauded, and I am pleased to say that it is part of a growing scene in the indie video game scene.

Kena: Bridge of Spirits and It Takes Two are both recent examples of developers standing and up telling the stories they feel are important rather than merely marketable. And the best part is that in doing so they have demonstrated it to be a successful and valid approach to making games.

Pixar proved long ago that with intelligence and creativity you can make entertainment that is not only thematically rich, but appropriate and rewarding for all ages. Now Endling – Extinction is Forever, along with its indie comrades, are looking to prove that the same is possible in the world of video games. Here’s hoping that they make it.


Endling – Extinction is Forever is coming to PC, Switch, PS4 and Xbox One in 2022.