The Mooseman | PS4 Review

Monday 16 July 2018

PublisherVladimir Beletsky
DeveloperVladimir Beletsky, Mikhail Shvachko
PS4 Review

*Disclaimer: I was sent the code for this game in return for a review, all opinions are mine and mine alone if you want to know more about my disclaimer please see my contact and disclaimer at the top of my blog.

The Mooseman is a very slow but beautiful indie game, where you play as a Sharman who slowly makes his way through a mysterious land with beautiful backdrops, you can see both humans and spirits. The game is Russian but you can choose to have English subtitles otherwise you will be clueless about what is happening, the first few seconds I was sat watching the start of the game thinking why I cant understand it, I set it to English and started again (my bad). The Sharman is called The Mooseman due to the fact he wears a skull of one which helps him see into the spirit world, he starts off in the lower part of the world where the damned souls live and have to work his way up, there are three layers to this world he is in. Some spirits you see will help you with your journey to travel deeper but other times by taking off the skull you are able to hide from the sight of the spirits set on killing you in the underworld.

At times I would be a little unsure of how to get past certain spirits but with some patients and concentrating on my abilities it didn't take too long to work out, I got halfway through the game pretty fast and then got stuck for a little while when a giant spirit crab who was set on crushing me to death, I allowed myself to move back and forth for a few times to work out how the crab moved and what it was hitting and eventually realised I had to stand on these slab buttons in a certain order to get past. The backdrop and characters are all adorable and beautifully drawn, the myth that goes alongside all of this helps bring each animal to life. The Mooseman is based on a Russian folktale which I won't giveaway as it' a huge part of the game and I want you all to experience it for yourself, as I said at the start it's narrated in Russian so in order to follow the story in English you need to set it to English. What I can say about the story is Russia has a fair few folklore tales based on Perd (Chud) tribes and this game is kind of various ones, after I finished the game I actually started to read up on Chud's and they are pretty interesting, I'm a sucker for anything based on fairytales or folktales.

As far as puzzle games go, I'm rubbish at them and this isn't me asking for a compliment but to be honest but I was able to finish this game which I didn't think I would ever do after taking on a bloody giant fish who would capture me each time it saw me, I would say that monster and the crab were the hardest ones in the whole game for me (hope you don't mind that little spoiler. If you liked Limbo you will probably like The Mooseman, they have the same kind of style and are just as dark as one another. The Mooseman is a very slow paced game that takes around 1-2 hours to finish, the first half of the game I got through in about 40 minutes and after that, it slowly started to get a little harder, although the mechanics are very simple it can be thought-provoking and make you time your movement when getting across the land, the Sharman is very simple to control, you can turn his light on and off and take the skull on and off, the light can protect you from any flying monsters trying to harm you, it forms a protective orb around you which they hit but once they hit it you need to turn it back on as it turns itself off as soon as they hit it, the skull will instantly show you any spirits wondering the world, I came across some zombie spirits in a swap which would try and chase me as soon as they saw me.

Along the way, you will come across idols which are both save points and points that tell you more about the storyline of the game and the myths within that world, it was like reading an interactive storybook with puzzles to play but in 2D form. The music leaves you feeling haunted and at times I would be waiting to see what monster I would have to sneak past next and even though I was left frustrated with dying at times the game kept my attention, instead of playing in one sitting I ended taking my time with it. I tried my best to collect all the collectables in the game but I missed loads in the end. The game may be short but you can play it a few times through in order to get all the trophies and yes there is a platinum trophy to get too!

This game overall is beautiful, it educates people about Russians folktale and the music by Komi set each dark and mysteries scene perfectly, being able to play as someone who can see spirits which the mortal eye can't transport you into a whole new world where the dead wonder endlessly, the game is mostly dark but at times it lights up with colour making you feel that your getting close to the end of your journey. I give this game 4/5 only because I knew I would get through it too fast once I reached the halfway point other than that it's a fantastic puzzle game. The Mooseman is available July 18th on PS4, Xbox One and Switch, you can already download it from the Android and Apple store as well as on Steam.

Elle May


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