There is something about Indie developers that makes them unique, and at times obscure. Never to be held back from trying something new, this pair of Russian developers Vladimir Beletsky and Mikhail Schvachko have brought us The Mooseman. Pay attention, or you may miss out on the story here. Oh, and if you speak Russian, even better.
The Mooseman is possibly the best game that has so far been published by Sometimes You thus far, and while it's by no means a groundbreaking title, there is a certain charm to it, that will ensure that it stands out in memory. Very little information is given as to who you are and why you are thrust into this world of folklore, but between chapters, you will get some information to go forward with. Travelling through the game you will stumble across Artefacts to colelct and while some are out in the open, others will be well hidden behind a series of button combinations which for the most part are awkward to pull off, and the clues can be well hidden.
The one feature of The Mooseman that really does strike me, is the musical score that really does come into it's own in the latter stages of the game. Beautifully haunting choir, music, the whole package will certainly impress if the rest of the game doesn't. I did find it pleasing to the ears, and perhaps you will too.
Visually, the game offers a minimalistic approach, with dark blues and the like with white being the other prominent colour when you put your mask on to solve the various puzzles throughout the game. It does stand out, but the animation has fewer frames than expected, but Indie developers do have a smaller budget so maybe that is the reason here.
It's a short affair, clocking in at around an hour, and for those that enjoy hunting achievements and trophies will rejoice as this game is an easy completion, although a guide may be useful for some of the harder to find artefacts.
The controls are simple enough, although at times you will be wondering what on earth you are meant to be doing. A bit of trial and error is needed as you are told very little about what you need to do and how to traverse into the other world at the press of a button.
What do I think of The Mooseman? Well, I do like the idea of incorporating folklore into games from other cultures, but the execution here is a little off the mark in terms of delivery. The Russian voice over isn't an issue for myself personally, but including Russian text left me feeling a little lost at times. Although it is worth mentioning that it's not always the case. Definitely an interesting title, and if completing achievements and trophies appeals to you, you could do a lot worse than this. Even if you only enjoy the audio that accompanies it.
I'd say grab it, as it's quite cheap, offers an easy completion, and that audio really does come into it's own later on. Including the closing visuals. Not the best game out there, but also not the worse. It is an average game that could have benefitted from some more time investment. But if Slavic folklore piques your curiosity, then this game will certainly interest you.
Developer: Vladimir Beletsky & Mikhail Schvachko
Publisher: Sometimes You
Release Date: 18th July 2018
File Size: 687MB
Xbox One copy provided for review purpose.