Normally you'd go to a pet store to find "critters for sale," but it's Steam you'll need to visit to find indie developer Sonoshee's newly released surreal five-part adventure compilation by that name.
The game's five discrete acts, subtitled "Snake," "Goat," "Monkey," "Dragon," and Spider," are all set in "different eras and locations, touching on themes like time travel, black magic, and immortality." Players will control a variety of characters who represent "the unseen history of the world as we know it, right in the center of events that portray a cosmic force looming above, vouching for evil, wanting to see you and your world crumble." Playing in any order, your actions and decisions along the way will "influence the outcome of each episode, ultimately leading to your death or survival. Evade your doom, and you might be able to make a difference in the grand scheme of things."
Inspired by a number of esoteric works such as The Twilight Zone and Twin Peaks, and based on the "surreal horrors of Middle Eastern and North African folktales," Critters for Sale promises a collection of journeys in which you'll "meet characters familiar and foreign to you, ranging from inhabitants of a garden in Earth's orbit, aliens from Neptune, Noid Men from neighboring timelines, and residents of a certain Reincarnation Palace." The striking black-and-white aesthetic takes its cues from the "monochrome Macintosh era" and the gameplay is similarly structured as a combination of point-and-click environmental interactions and visual novel-styled text choices. Each story has been designed with multiple endings, encouraging players to go back and "relive the dreadful terror" with a different approach.
If you're already convinced, you can take the full plunge right away as Critters for Sale is available now on Steam for Windows and Linux. If you'd like to sample the game's "bizarre encounters and mind-bending visuals" first, you can do that too as the first chapter, "Snake," can be downloaded free on its own from Steam and itch.io.