The Mooseman is a simple game, a very simple game telling an interesting story in an interesting yet old-fashioned way. When I received the inquiry from the PR peeps to review this game, I looked at the screenshots and well, I was hooked. Got the code, downloaded the game and well, the whole experience was interesting, but not for the reason you might be imagining.
Gameplay is very simple, as much as you can safely say that this is a side-scrolling walking simulator. Yes, there are a couple of simple puzzles thrown into the mix, but again, the whole gameplay is extremely simple. And frankly, that did not bother me. The Mooseman captivates you with its beautiful presentation and interesting story.
Have you ever heard of the Uralic mythology of the Komi-Zyrian tribes from the northeast region of Russia? Of course not. Well, maybe you have, but I sure as heck have not and I found it intriguing, to say the least. As the Mooseman, you walk through this simple yet quite beautiful world, jumping back an forth from the real world to the spirit world. While in the spirit world, you see well, spirits. Different and strange silhouettes of people and animals populate this world and the way they are drawn is based on the cave paintings found in the region.
As you walk, you pass these “totems” that unlock text entries that explain the whole mythos. And as you might have guessed it by the title of the game itself, it’s heavily based upon mystical animals, a moose, an eagle, a wolf, a bear, a fish, a duck and so on. You will get to interact with each one of these ancient gods in one way or another in your journey as the Mooseman.
Now I don’t want to butcher this religion or mythology with my silly comparisons, but I found it very interesting and intriguing that it had a version of hell, the devil, the dead, purgatory and well, heaven as we have come to known. I will go as far as to say that, at least in the game, there is a part which is extremely similar to the mythos of Prometheus stealing the fire from the Gods and giving it to the people. And I loved all of this as I was introduced to a new cool mythology I’ve never heard before in a cool interactive way such as a video game.
All of this coupled with the hauntingly beautiful art style and score make The Mooseman a very interesting experience. I know it’s a short review but I feel that no matter how hard I try to explain what The Mooseman, I cannot transmit what makes this an interesting experience. I guess you will have to check it out yourself.