Game news Ni no Kuni, Baldo, Hoa: The best games inspired by the Ghibli style
Animation studio still managed today by a certain Hayao Miyazaki, who celebrated his 80th birthday this year, Ghibli has built his fame thanks to works such as Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away or even The Castle in the Sky. Works that have gradually immersed themselves in popular culture, reaching quite naturally the creators of video games and their productions. We offer a selection of titles that resemble Miyazaki’s paw.
With Hoa, a platform game developed by Skrollcat Studio, the resemblance to the works of Ghibli is obvious from the first moment. The title indeed displays a sumptuous hand-painted artistic direction, with a very strong emphasis on nature.. The player takes the role of Hoa, who embarks on a long journey to return to where “it all began”, as the Steam page indicates. No more details, but along the way, the little character will meet many plants and animals. The creation of Skrollcat Studio also offers quite a few puzzles, all in a slow but captivating pace, inviting the player to take their time and observe all the details that surround them. A small soothing journey.
- Release date : August 24, 2021
- Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series, Switch
> See the trailer for Hoa
Always with the warm colors dear to studio Ghibli, Baldo is a Zelda-like in 3D that has been eyeing fans of the genre since its announcement in 2019. All the codes of the cult Nintendo license are present: there is exploration, dungeons with combat as well as puzzles, all with the aim of “deciphering a strange cryptic prophecy and thwarting fate” as indicated on the game’s Steam page. Above all, the universe and the design of the characters seem straight out of a creation of Hayao Miyazaki . But beneath his very cute looks, Baldo hides a requirement that no one had really seen coming, as evidenced by player feedback so far. So if you want to try the trip, be all set.
- Release date : August 27, 2021
- Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch, iOS (included in Apple Arcade)
> See the trailer for Baldo
BEHIND THE FRAME
Again, when we see the images of Behind The Frame, we think of Ghibli productions. But in a different way than the other games on this list. It is indeed a title of reflection / narration that takes place in an apartment, with a painter. We thus find the soothing atmosphere of Hayao Miyazaki’s films. The painter in question relentlessly observes her neighbor opposite, who also wields the brush. And strangely, the man seems to draw works that have a connection with her. Behind The Frame is a short game, which tells you what to say in an hour. Players will be able to experience both hand-animated cutscenes as well as traditionally painted sets. A little happiness.
- Release date : 25 August 2021
- Platforms: PC, iOS, Android
> Lire notre test de Behind The Frame
Behind The Frame – Trailer d’annonce
NI NO KUNI
Better than looking like studio Ghibli’s productions, the cutscenes of the first installment in the series Ni no Kuni were directly hosted by the famous firm. It is therefore logical that Hayao Miyazaki’s paw is found in every pixel of this spellbinding JRPG, whose two episodes were also very well received by the press and the public. The first opus tells the story of Olivier, a child without history who begins a journey in another world after the death of his mother to save her. In his sequel, the player embodies King Evan, who sets out again to conquer his own kingdom when it has been stolen from him. Both, good pretexts to introduce the exploration of enchanting territories. A delight.
- Release date : February 1, 2013 & March 23, 2018
- Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch (PS3 pour Ni no Kuni 1)
> Read our Ni no Kuni 1 test
> Read our test of Ni no Kuni 2
We continue our selection with Forgotton Anne, a platform / puzzle game with a big focus on storytelling, released in 2018 on consoles and PC. In the title, forgotten everyday objects come to life in a parallel world. They are now endowed with a conscience, and hope that one thing: to return to the world of humans. This is where the character of Anne comes in. She wants to build a bridge between the two realities, but a group of rebels will do everything to stop her. The scenario therefore occupies a very important place, and is told to us via beautifully animated Ghibli-style cutscenes.. For the rest, you will have to rack your brains to solve the many puzzles.
- Release date : May 15, 2018
- Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch
> Read our Forgotton Anne test
Apart from its colors and to a lesser extent its designs which could recall the productions of studio Ghibli, Spiritfarer evokes above all the famous company with its scenario. In the title, players must indeed transport wandering souls until their death, all on a sort of hotel boat that will have to be managed as in a management game. In a recent video, the developers of Thunder Lotus claimed that they had been inspired by the hotel of the spirits in Spirited Away, Hayao Miyazaki’s film where a young girl finds herself in a parallel world where sort of ghosts reign. And furthermore, the theme of death is omnipresent in Ghibli’s works, as is the idea of a certain hereafter.
- Release date : Aug 18, 2020
- Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch
> Read our Spiritfarer test
Spritfarer – An update with new features
Without being able to really explain why, the metroidvania series or quickly evokes Ghibli productions. No doubt thanks to the enchanting scenery where the adventure takes place, or to the various animals that serve as the main characters. But when you dig a little, you realize that this resemblance does not come out of nowhere. It turns out that the co-founder of Moon Studios, the team that develops the game, was inspired by Princess Mononoke’s Kodama, little creatures that make up the people of the forest in the film. The developers have even integrated their main character into the world of the work as an exercise. We see the result. Games are essential today.
- Release date : 11 mars 2015 & 11 mars 2020
- Platforms: PC, Switch, Xbox One (360 for Ori 1)
> Read our Ori 1 test
> Read our Ori 2 test
PLANET OF LANA
During the Summer Game Fest 2021, between the pear and the dessert of very good dishes prepared by Geoff Keighley, a certain Planet of Lana (not yet dated) caught our attention thanks to its wonderful colorful and hand drawn decorations in Ghibli style. For now, we do not know much about the title, even if the trailer speaks for itself: it will be a young heroine who will have to evolve in a world made of machines and very strange creatures. All the themes dear to Hayao Miyazaki also seem to be part of it, with this very particular relationship with nature, and very astonishing living beings. Finally, on the gameplay side, it should be closer to a Limbo and an Inside. We look forward. Information should not delay.
- Release date : 2022
- Platforms: PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series