When I first booted up The Mooseman, I wasn’t really intrigued by the idea. But hardly a quarter of an hour into the game, I was thoroughly enjoying the walking simulator. I made sure to look into each and every nook and cranny so that I didn’t miss out on any of the collectibles based on the lore of the game. Yet, I was finished with the game within half an hour or so. What’s left behind is a happy memory of a scenic adventure in a mythical land.
The Mooseman is a game that can be enjoyed by everyone, not only because it is a small yet fun-filled adventure, but also because it is available on many platforms. You can get the game on mobile platforms including Android and iOS, on consoles including PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. It runs on a PC as well. Given the simple nature and function of the game, it will not require a gaming beast. In fact, it can literally run on a potato PC.
The Mooseman – A walk between the realms and history
It is tough to describe the gameplay of The Mooseman in a few simple words, yet if I had to, I’ll choose the words “A walk between the realms and history”.
You play as The Mooseman, a sort of primitive man that has the ability to see through the mortal world. You set out on a journey to discover the secrets of the world and its formation.
The hook of the game is the ability to see through the mortal world. The Mooseman can see the mortal world and on a click on a button, you are transported to the spirit realm. Now, do not get me wrong here; a click of a button does not completely transfer you to another dimension with no connection to the physical world whatsoever. Instead, the spirit realm is a rather overlay on the mortal world. The spirit world acts as a bridge to places where the mortal world does not go. It also reveals a lot of artifacts and collectibles.
That all said, The Mooseman is a just a 2D walking simulator at its very base and roots. There is no jumping. There is no sprinting. Your actions are limited to walking forward and backward which you do by either the arrow keys or the A and D keys. The only other action you can do throughout the game is switching between the mortal and the spirit world by pressing the spacebar. However, you do occasionally perform some other actions such as shooting an arrow to hunt a wolf.
The pace of the game is set to be very slow. Since walking is the what the game is all about, it is what makes the game slow. Your character walks way too slowly which may rob your interest in the long run. There is no way to manipulate the speed of your character, which I found to be quite annoying. However, you can double tap the forward or backward button which will automate the walking so you don’t have to trouble yourself.
The Mooseman is a game filled with witty puzzles that you may not solve in the first try. However, the puzzles aren’t very difficult and you can work your way around them in two or three tries at most. Solving puzzles by switching between the spirit realm and the mortal realm could be tricky, but feels pretty good. It’s a good game to spend an evening with after a stressful day but it has little to null replay value.
The mythical scenic art style of The Mooseman
The art style of The Mooseman is where the game scores full on full in my opinion. As described already, the game takes place in not one but two worlds simultaneously. The mortal world is rather dull and dark whereas the spirit world is lively and light.
The mortal world is the default setting of the game. However, the lively spirit world is rather an overlay on the mortal world. So while you are seeing the world around you in the spirit realm, the dark mortal world is always visible in the background.
The world itself is inspired by the finno-Ugric culture and mythic lores of the bygone pagan times. The actual drawings and collectibles are inspired by archaeological and historical discoveries. In fact, whenever you come across an artifact, lore or a collectible, you can go to the pause menu and see its importance, discovery and so on.
The soundtrack of The Mooseman is something that should not be left out. The soundtrack is soothing and perfect for a walking simulator, though I could probably listen to it beyond the two-hour playthrough as well.
Story Set in The Realms Beyond Men
The best way to describe the story of The Mooseman is using the developer’s words- “Long-long time ago the world was created out of an egg-shell by a god named Yen. In the murky depths of the endless ocean, the Lower World was born. The Middle World was made for the men to dwell, and the Upper World was where the ancient gods would reside. Multitudes of spirits dwell among the layers of creation, guarding their secrets in the dark. Embark on a journey through all the worlds of ancient myth, find artifacts of Chud’ tribes and solve all the mysteries of finno-Ugric tales.”
Do not expect the story to be deep or emotional. In fact, it may be a negligible part of the game. What’s worse is the fact that the narration language cannot be set to English.
- Stunning Environment
- Innovative Ideas
- Innovative puzzels
- Super Short Gameplay
- No replayability value