Get ready to venture on a pilgrimage into the depths of the world. The Mooseman is a 2D adventure game that brings Russian myths to life. This story will take you to other worlds as you try to venture deeper into the other side, meeting myths and puzzles upon your path. The adventure game is short but sweet in a market full of indie games. The Mooseman gives players a simple experience that uses simple gaming mechanics and a simple art style to bring this world to life. So why is The Mooseman worth your time?
The story of the Mooseman is one of myth and legends, you will travel through the layers of the lower, middle and upper realms in order to save a dying world. While most games tell a narrative through dialogue or cutscenes, The Mooseman gives you snippets of the tale through the myths they are based on.
When you encounter a totem within the world this is readying you for a new step on your journey. You can choose to play through the game without learning this myth or collect as much knowledge as you can before pressing on. The game is designed in a way that wants you to get involved in the myths and their telling. The adventures and puzzles you undertake are connected to the legends and cleverly bring them into this dark world. While this might feel like it slows down the adventure, you can choose not to read through the myths until you’ve finished the game. While you might be able to follow the adventure by yourself, having this reference to see where the story and the puzzles originated from gives The Mooseman its own charm.
At its core, The Mooseman is a 2D side-scrolling platformer, but the developers find lots of ways to make the game more interesting. The first comes in the ability to jump between the real world and that of the spirit world. This power reveals what cannot be seen and allows you to gain insight into your surroundings. For example, some puzzles will require you to run from an enemy but in order to get past obstacles, you must switch between the two realms. This might seem simple but in high-pressure situations, you can feel the pressure.
The game tries its hardest to make this system interesting through the different environments and it’s very successful. Along with this, just as the system is starting to feel overused, the develops find a way to throw in a new power or give you a new system to explore, the game doesn’t allow you to get bored of its gameplay by keeping you on your toes. This is very important for an indie game and for a game so short it really keeps you engaged.
You will take over The Mooseman’s quest to journey into the centre of the world. The game offers you the chance to explore the myths behind the game. The tales of the story come to life after you read them or before you read them, through the simplistic artwork. While simple, it really brings the world to life and brings out the characters within the game, becoming something quite unique.
The Mooseman isn’t for everyone but is a journey of exploration that will fill some of your day with intrigue and joy. While the game doesn’t reinvent the wheel as far as gameplay goes, it does fill your adventure with intrigue and keeps you entertained throughout your pilgrimage. The Mooseman is on PS4, Xbox One, Switch and PC now and is worth the time for those looking to disappear for a few hours.