Twitter is a great social media platform, but it's not the most friendly to flash games. The platform has disabled the ability to embed classic MS-DOS games since 2015. There's apparently a little trick around it, though!
The creator of Familiars.io, Nigel Nelson, recently found a clever workaround. He tweeted out, "just smuggled my ENTIRE GAME into this 'video' embed a tweet, enjoy" over the weekend, sharing his entire open-world PvP collect-a-thon.
Tweet By @ClayLoam
So, what exactly is ClayLoam's game all about? Well, it's kind of like the world-famous Pokémon! It's got a minimalist touch emphasized developer Nigel Nelson. It features classic 8-bit graphics. In it, explore an open (always online) world with other players, encountering and catching a variety of "familiars." Level these little creatures up to become the toughest around.
After a while, you can challenge other online players to a match! But, you don't have to fight other people. You can also play online together and chill, collecting monsters together and grinding out in a community-style experience.
It's a fun concept for players who loved games like Pokémon but yearn for a constant online experience like an MMO.
I logged on to the .io site and decided to give it a try. I was greeted with a smooth-running, super charming selection screen where I picked my character and my initial familiar from several sets of 8-bit, black and white sprites. I dropped immediately into the world and started exploring!
The minimalist setting features rocks, trees, and rivers-- all the nature that you might imagine in a love letter to Pokémon. The monsters lurk in various places like tall grass or along paths. Within five minutes, I'd met not one but two other real players. They were eager to interact, and we formed an unofficial trio running around a small section of the large world. After a while, that charm wore off, and I ditched them for a challenge.
Familiars.io | Credit: @ClayLoam
I tried catching some more familiars. Combat's got plenty of options. You can attack an opponent, use an item, or flee. I immediately got in my pack and tried to catch the familiar, but to no luck! In Familiar.io, you'll have to damage any creature you want to catch first.
The few minutes I spent with the game was immensely charming. Interestingly, the longer I played, the busier the server got. By the time I logged off, my team had consisted of three familiars, which were Patch, Topple, and Cobby. Perhaps I see a round of PVP in my Familiar.io future, as it's an adorable project I plan on revisiting!
This is a recent project for Nelson, launching back in 2019. He and his brother were discussing new ideas for some kind of online game. They touched on a fond childhood memory, where they would play the classic Pokémon Red and Blue together. They'd start a new game, grind out a collection of monsters for a few hours, and then fight.
Nelson was inspired to make an MMO-style game with this sort of gameplay as a result. It's seen a pretty big boom since he posted it to Twitter, too. How does he plan to deal with the expanded views and player base?
Well, he says:
“I’ve had a few ideas for new fun things to add, but I think I might need to take a step back to figure out how to make my servers accommodate the increased player base..."
Whatever Nelson's got planned, we're eager to check it out! He also mentioned that he has plenty of other ideas to add at a later date. In the meantime, hop on over to Twitter and check out his embedded tweet where you can play Familiar.io directly on your feed. Alternatively, if his tweet is gone by the time you read this, visit Familiar.io in-browser and play it for yourself!