Updated on July 9th at 13:40: Yesterday, I pointed out that the enemies in Sky Tourist Blitz Trip looked very similar to golliwogs.
To recap, they're a violent jungle people that have black skin and big red lips. Obviously, whether intentional or not, the design is perpetuating a racist stereotype.
Developer Three Legged Egg got back to me today with a statement regarding the character design in Sky Tourist Blitz Trip. You can read it below.
"First, we would like to say that there is in no way any intention for such a thing. All the artwork that was created for Sky Tourist was done so without any knowledge of the existence of the Golliwog or its history."
"The color pallet that was decided on for the characters in this game took this form for specific reasons. We wanted the player to be in a vibrant colorful world, but ran into the design issue of the enemies needing to stand out against that. Black was the best option."
"Whatever visual coincidences that may have occurred, we hope no one has taken offense."
As hoped, the character design is a coincidence rather than intended. That doesn't necessarily excuse it, and it will still remain in the when it is released on the App Store tomorrow.
A snappier version of the Silver Award-winning Sky Tourist is coming out this Thursday for iOS. Appropriately, it's called Sky Tourist Blitz Trip.
Apparently, in the year since Sky Tourist came out, Three Legged Egg has accrued enough feedback to justify this second installment of the game.
It still involves wrangling Pendant Pete on a rope suspended on either side by two rockets that you control. And, yep, you'll still need to have him dodge traps and solve physics-based puzzles.
The main difference is that the 60 levels are shorter in order to "better accommodate the mobile platform and shorter sessions".
You'll also be taking in the scenic sights offered by the east side of the planet Plumia.
It all looks great, except I do have to question whether or not the game contains golliwogs.
Have a look at the small characters on this page - their black skin and red lips, in particular. Right, now consider that this is described as a "jungle planet" and these inhabitants are "mild[ly] violent".
This all seems to be perpetuating a racist stereotype I thought we had left behind years ago. It's not good to see even if it isn't intended - which I hope it isn't.
Sky Tourist Blitz Trip will be available on the App Store on July 10th.