The low-poly days are far behind us, but many of us still have a soft spot for the work that artists and modellers had to do back when consoles couldn’t handle curves. Low-Poly Animals is a (relatively) new Twitter account celebrating and chronicling some of the creatures that we might have taken for granted back in the day, but now – with photorealism and high-resolution textures being the norm – we can appreciate how adorably janky they all were.
Check out this seagull from Daytona USA. Look at the majesty of this little guy! Flapping his big ol’ wings which constitute 100% of his being! Is he going forwards or backwards? It doesn’t matter! It’s goddamn inspirational, is what it is.
Many of the most fantastic ones are the My Pokémon Ranch and Pokémon Rumble low-poly models, which turn well-known and beloved Pokéshapes into chunky approximations of themselves. Who couldn’t love these wide, weird lil Pokémon?
Did you know that the dog in Ocarina of Time was named Richard? You can’t just call a dog Richard. That’s a dad name, not a dog name! You wouldn’t call your dad “Beans” or “Snuffles”, would you? No. Calling a dog Richard is a crime. He is cute, though.
Sometimes, you get the feeling that a particular low-poly model was bashed out in a few hours, and the artist really wanted to get back to making chairs and bushes. But guess what? That just makes them all the more loveable. This penguin from MySims Kingdom has toes.
This mouse, from Earthworm Jim 3D, is apparently a ninja. We have to assume that he left all of his ninja gear at home, because it looks like a regular mouse to us.
This borb (from Super Mario 3D Land) may look like it’s stuffed with polygons, but we are assured that this egg-shaped chap is a victim of “smooth shading”, and that underneath all that round, he’s actually very chunky. We love him.
Personally, we think it’s a testament to human imagination that it’s possible to see a triangle with a face and think, “aw, a lil frog!” It’s also a testament to the skills of the modellers and texture artists that all of these are recognisable animals, even if they are a bit chunky.
What’s your favourite low-poly animal from a game? Let us know in the comments.