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Firewatch team turns iOS ripoff into comedy gold (update)

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New Firewatch is not the same as the old Firewatch

new firewatch Cabel Sasser/Twitter

As one of our favorite games last year, we think Campo Santo’s Firewatch is pretty much great the way it is. Mysterious designer Albert Gavril thought otherwise, apparently, uploading an unauthorized, iOS-exclusive take on the game to the App Store — called, simply, New Firewatch.

But Cabel Sasser of Firewatch publisher Panic, Inc. didn’t let New Firewatch off easy after discovering it yesterday. Not only did he signal boost the copycat on Twitter, but he also uploaded a very brief Let’s Play to show off just how, uh, “new” this Firewatch game really is.

Sasser’s hilarious playthrough shows a game that’s way more primitive on smartphones than it was on consoles and PC. The controls are terrible. The unseen Delilah has maybe been transformed into a glowing purple orb. Worst of all, the game’s world is totally broken — we won’t spoil how this video ends, but it’s both shocking and not surprising how badly programmed this is.

Sasser filed a content dispute claim, so New Firewatch isn’t on the App Store anymore. Its legacy instead lives on through Twitter, where people beg Sasser to get into the Let’s Play business for real and send him fanart for the iOS ripoff.

We recently caught up with Sean Vanaman of Campo Santo to learn about what the real Firewatch team is working on. Check that out for some actual new Firewatch-adjacent deets, but savor Sasser’s one-off playthrough forever.

Update: Those works of “fanart” are actually “canon,” Campo Santo co-founder Jake Rodkin told us. Claire Hummel is the studio’s art director, making these New Firewatch pieces as close as we’ll ever get to a Campo Santo mark of approval on the game.