Releasing today, Vilmonic is a complex genetics sandbox that simulates life according to scientific rules. Watch your organisms evolve, or intervene.

Here’s a kind of game you don’t see everyday. Vilmonic is an artificial life simulation based on pixels that goes on to simulate genetics, evolution, metabolism, and a other natural processes, all within a framework of mathematics and biology. Yes, it looks really cute, but it’s really deep underneath. Don’t believe me? Look at this ridiculously scientific tweet:

Vilmonic has released today, and is available for purchase now on PC, Mac, and Linux. Have a look at its trailer below:

This game obviously requires some explanation, so here’s how the developer explains it:

Protect and breed unique pixel-art life forms whose pixels and color have meaning. Experiment with natural and artificial selection. Craft tools, construct buildings and change the environment. Uncover the secrets of the past as you dig up ancient tech and fend off the mindless haywire zombitons.

The shape, or morphology, of each animatroid or fungol is determined by its genes. Genes control the bending of internal bones or branches. Pixels cover the bones to create the shape of the body. The shape of the body and the number of different pixels determine the physiology of the life form.

Each life form has a metabolism that processes hydration and nutrients at a rate determined by the metabo gene. The larger the life form (the more pixels in its body), the more hydration and nutrients it will need each metabolic cycle. Surface area determines how much hydration each life form evaporates. The more wrinkled the body is, the more surface area there is.

A simple set of rules, derived from genes, controls the behavior of each animatroid. Animatroids have external sensors (motion/scent/water) and internal sensors (hunger/stress/thirst). Animatroids’ brains have attraction/repulsion relationships between these sensors. It is these relationships that determine each animatroid’s behavior.

Your animatroids and fungols will evolve over many generations into new species. The genetic code of each life form is passed down to its offspring during reproduction, with a chance of mutation. Evolution is a slow process. To speed things up, try crafting and drinking a lot of sugary beverages. Toxic waste can also be useful (and dangerous!) It can cause drastic mutations in offspring.

For more information, check out the official website here. You’ll find the game over at Steam here and Itch.io here.

Indies are breeding grounds for ideas you won’t see explored by the big-shot companies. Consider the competitive life simulation of No Time to Relax. You might also like the co-op teenage horror of The Blackout Club.

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