Get out your notebooks because it’s time to learn about new ancient myths and culture.
- System: PlayStation 4
- Publisher: Sometimes You
- Developer: Vladimir Beletsky, Mikhail Shvachko
- Release Date: July 18, 2018
- Rating: E
- Genre: Adventure, 2D, Atmospheric, Puzzle
- Players: Single Player
- Official Website: http://www.morteshka.ru/
The Mooseman - Switch Release Trailer [NOA]
Who it Caters to
It’s not very often that we’re greeted with games that take us beyond the norm and into a world that’s full of mystery. Not just the mystery itself but the curiosities that come along with it and that brings us to The Mooseman is a 2D adventure atmospheric indie title that takes you into a world full of cultural dialogue and stimulating puzzles. Much of the game revolves around the ancient myths pertaining to the finno-ugric culture, and the cultural significance some of the characters play in the evolution of their being. It’s certainly a lot to swallow at first, especially if you don’t really follow the culture in great detail, but in a way, The Mooseman is like a cultural compass that guides you towards the answers that are needed to survive. Anyone looking for a fresh adventure into a world begging to be explored, The Mooseman is certainly a great start since it will captivate you with its simple visuals but reel you in with its enriching stories about the Perm chud’ tribes. If this sounds enticing then keep on reading. We will say though, that in order to truly enjoy this game you must keep an open mind.
What to Expect
There’s nothing groundbreaking about The Mooseman in terms of its visual or gameplay mechanics, but one thing’s for certain and it’s that it certainly stands out in its own unique way. It’s quite rare to have a title that really dives deep into a culture that not many people have heard of, let alone experienced hands on and still move you in some way or another. Whether it be the young woman speaking in her mother tongue to explain the story or the symbolic gestures that are emphasized throughout much of your gameplay experience, The Mooseman carries its own torch and does so in a splendid way. There’s a ton of information jam packed into this game that are all referenced and portrayed in a very captivating way, even making us google Shamanism more often than not just to learn more about in depth. The gameplay has you racing through the many plains as a hunter, while everything is being narrated on the go. Items you discover all have their own distinct history and it’s up to you to put these historical pieces together to solve clever puzzles during your journey to uncover the truth about the three layers of the universe. It’s a historical painting come to life.
At first glance, you might think that The Mooseman is bland and bereft of any detail, but once you actually dive deeper into the game, you really start to see just how beautiful everything is. Not just the level design but more so the actual figures and items you interact with all come with their stunning beauty, which only help to better emphasize things. It’s simple but complex and that combination seems to work very well for the game. The cutscenes are truly something to marvel because it uses modern technology along with the finno-ugric style to evoke an emotion as you play, and it’s wonderful.
In the sound department, The Mooseman once again tries to maintain simplicity while trying to put more of your attention towards the message the game is trying to convey. It’s really like watching ancient history unfold right before you, and every page that’s turned reveals something more fascinating than the next. We never even knew that Bears were considered to be very spiritual creatures until we spent more time playing The Mooseman and realized, wow that’s quite incredible. Surprisingly, there were a lot of animals that we came across that we didn’t know had any association with the spiritual world, so that really opened our cultural eye even more. A lot of the time many of us become so desensitized by the world in which we live in and often forget about the other unique facets of life that exist all around us. The Mooseman combines a subtle sound with powerful undertones to help symbolize evolution, and the layers which many of us ignore but coexist with us naturally.
The Mooseman is mostly about you running in a 2D plane and interacting with the various creatures and deities around you. You have two modes, one which allows you to see things in the dark while the other reveals the true existence of spiritual beings around you. This is where the puzzle feature comes into play because you’ll need to constantly jump between the two perspectives in order to see obstacles in your way, or use said obstacles to create paths for you to progress further into the game. Along the way, you’ll collect artifacts that entail information about said artifact and what role it played in the finno-ugric lifestyle. You’re encouraged to collect all of them since even missing one could throw off the meaning down the road, so making sure to always keep an eye out is key. At times, you’ll also be granted the power of a deity that allows you to traverse to areas that were difficult before, allowing you to discover new artifacts and read more into their ancestral history.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
Aside from that, The Mooseman is purely an adventure game with a historical twist, and once you’ve cleared it there’s nothing much to come back to. For the first time playing through it certainly brought fascination to my mind because finno-ugric was never a term that was a normal thing to hear during a conversation, let alone a video game. So this game, in a way, removed that veil of ignorance and opened up a new world of exploration, with its unique approach to gameplay and more so its ability to educate me on the fly. Not many games these days tend to throw in educational references to stimulate you, since most are all about fighting against abnormal creatures, or shooting a group of enemies down for a high kill/death ratio. So our hats go off to the team for making The Mooseman a truly compelling experience from start to finish. A truly unforgettable impression is left with you.
- Unique approach to creating an experience that combines cultural aesthetics and clever gameplay into one package.
- The music is very soothing.
- You learn a lot by playing.
- The game does end quite quickly.
Honey's Final Verdict:
We hope you found our review of The Mooseman to be an insightful one, and that you perhaps give the game a try and let us know what you think! Be sure to follow us on Twitter to stay up to date on all the latest gaming news from around the world, and, of course, Twitch to know when we go live with all of our most recently reviewed titles!
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