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Summer lives on in this game inspired by a Greek water nymph

Plus an even creepier reimagining of Shadow of the Colossus

an image of a water nymph enjoying a pristine pool of water in naiad Image: HiWarp
Ana Diaz (she/her) is a culture writer at Polygon, covering internet culture, fandom, and video games. Her work has previously appeared at NPR, Wired, and The Verge.

Summer’s come and gone, but that doesn’t mean we can’t take a dip in a shimmering, albeit virtual, pool. In Naiad Game, you’ll casually explore the world, one body of water at a time. The game, which was inspired by Greek mythology, imbues common natural environments, like a pond, with a magical quality.

We have beautiful waters and more in Cool WIP, Polygon’s weekly roundup of eye-catching clips, and screenshots of works in progress. Each week, the Polygon staff scours the internet for the most interesting games still under construction, to give you a sampler of the coolest up-and-coming projects.

In this especially stunning week of Cool WIP, we have a game inspired by Shadow of the Colossus, a super trashy adventure, a grown up version of Animal Crossing where the animals deal with their emotional baggage, and an explosive police chase.

Take a dip in this breathtaking game

This video is from Naiad, an adventure based on stories of the Naiad water nymph from Greek mythology. The developer, Hiwarp, posted a clip where we see the mythical being swimming around in a crystal clear pool filled with colorful rocks, logs, lily pads, and even a crocodile at the end. It’s a short clip, but it’s enough to show the game’s beautiful world and laid back gameplay. According to the game’s website, it’ll come to PC, Mac, and Linux and might be released in 2021.

This Shadow of Colossus game dials up the creepy

Strange Shadow is just like Shadow of the Colossus but a little bit creepier. It’s currently being developed by Nomad, who posted a clip showing one of the giants in action. The behemoth’s glowing eyes and sulking posture loom over the protagonist in the distance to create an eerie aura. The game doesn’t have a list of platforms yet, but the developer said it’ll be out in 2022.

This game is trash!

Trash! It’s everywhere and part of our everyday lives, but somehow, trash is unusually absent from video games. (Maybe because it’s ugly and smelly.) That changes with Kingdoms of the Dump, a game that the developers describe as an “SNES-styled RPG with platforming elements.” The concept feels very Earthbound-esque what with the silly characters and ties to the SNES era. A clip from the developers showed a fight between its brave trash bin hero “Dustin Binsley” and scrapped shoe. The game is being developed by Roach Studios and has a release window of 2022.

Animals go to therapy in San Zoolin

In San Zoolin, you play as a psychotherapist hired to support the emotional health of an entire island. It doesn’t sound like my kind of vacation, but it does look like it has the makings of a fun, but emotionally intrusive narrative adventure. The developer, Lina Lundstedt, just released a trailer showing off its world and a snippet of a cat complaining about how miserable they are. If you’re into helping animals find emotional peace, you can follow updates on the developer’s Twitter account here.

Run from the police and then collect their coins

Tiny and stylish racing games like Pako Caravan are all over the place right now. The developers, Tree Men Games posted a clip of a car drifting all over the place after which the pursuers crash, burn, and turn into collectable coins. If this looks fun — you’re in luck! The game is out now to Nintendo Switch and mobile devices.

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