Since my kids got the Nintendo Switch, my buddy Andy Burns here at Bif Bam Pop has been giving me sweet access to review copies of indie games it. Now, I didn’t previously know that indie games were a thing, so this has been quite an eye opener for me.
What I have learned thus far is that indie games, much like indie movies, cover quite a range of quality and generally paint outside the traditional lines of what I think a video game should be like. And, like indie films, indie games aren’t aimed at the mass audience of a wider release game. So, if Super Mario Odyssey is Avengers, The Mooseman is I Heart Huckabees. One is a big screen, easy to digest popcorn fest, and the other is a weird little film that really isn’t for everyone.
Into the latter category falls The Mooseman from the Mortreshka team – a Russian game studio that “loves all things mysterious, historical and atmospheric”.
The game, based on the ancient myths of the Perm Clans of pre-historic Russian, puts you in control of the title character, as you slowly make your way through three levels of existence, decipher legends and use your magic moose head skull powers to see the spirit world and thus move through the game in different ways.
What did I like – well, the graphics are really neat in an understated kind of way. Mooseman is just a shadowy figure, but his animations are really well done and the world around him has a depth that goes past its 2D programming. The effect of activating the magic moose skull is cool, illuminating the white ghostly images of the spirit world and altering the way you get from point A to point B.
The meh – If I’m honest, which I am, this game was really boring. The historical aspect is a very cool idea, but walking at the speed of an old man while reading things is not the way I want to spend my limited gaming time.
The verdict – I dunno… this one is not for everyone, but I think it is for someone. I think if I had more time and more interest in ancient Russian mythology, this game would be a welcome break from jumping on the heads of turtles, shooting zombies and punching dudes in the face. This is a really unique and engaging concept that should be played before it is judged.
Would I play The Mooseman again? No. Would my kids? Nope. But, if you want to try something different and show what a clever and interesting person you are, much like fans of independent film, you should give this one a go and act like you get it.
Beeps and boops ya’ll. Til next time.