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Explore strange new worlds, photograph strange new species, help determine if they should be ground up for their… mineral content? We don’t remember that bit in Starfleet First Contact training.

Hot on the heels of the announcement of a new Pokémon Snap game comes Cellular Harvest, a game that is very much like Pokémon Snap in a lot of ways. But also, different. Very, very different.

Where Pokémon Snap has you photographing critters mostly for the sheer joy of it, Cellular Harvest has a different agenda. You’re still trying to catalogue everything you find, but here, the motivations are–

They’re less twee, shall we say.

From indie developer Redact Games and writer/developer Xalavier Nelson – whose other projects include Can Androids Pray, Hypnospace Outlaw, Skatebird, Mr Bucket Told Me To, and An Airport For Dogs Currently Run By Aliens – Cellular Harvest launched on Itch.io today.

You play as an auditor, sent to a far-flung planet with your camera to catalogue the lifeforms you find. An AI will analyse your discoveries to determine their composition and, thus, their value to your corporate overlords for their component parts. Whether you should be doing this? That’s a question for your conscience. (But it is a brilliant idea.)

In true Pokémon tradition, Cellular Harvest comes in two coloured variants: Cellular Harvest: Green and Cellular Harvest: Purple. You can buy either one for $6.99 US, or buy them both together in the Cellular Harvest: Complete edition, which also costs $6.99. Well, that’s an easier decision than whether you want Pokémon Sword or Shield.

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