Not every game requires loads of comedy, action, or witty dialogue. Sometimes an adventure can be laid back, quiet, and thoughtful. Indie developer Morteshka's atmospheric The Mooseman aims to provide just such an experience, arriving on consoles now after its release on PC last year.
The Mooseman is the mystical journey of shaman who has "the ability to see all that is hidden to the mortal eye." Our hero's journey will take him through three worlds inspired by Finno-Ugric culture: the Middle World (for mortals), the Upper World (for the gods), and the endless ocean known as the Lower World, a place where the dead dwell. In his travels, the shaman will uncover ancient secrets, artifacts, and mysteries dating back to pagan times. He'll also face a few challenging riddles, which you'll need to solve to learn more about the world's myths and unlock abilities needed to ascend to the Upper World.
Visually inspired by the "Perm animal style", a type of ancient Russian artwork that dates back to 4th century BCE, and accompanied by atmospheric Komi folk music performed by the Perm regional college of arts and culture, The Mooseman has the look and feel of a 2D side-scrolling adventure title in the vein of Limbo and INSIDE, though without the platforming elements of those games. According to Morteshka, the experience is best described as a "solar myth depicting the journey of the Mooseman – half-god, half-human."
Originally conceived as a runner for a 2015 game jam, designers Vladimir Beletsky and Mikhail Shvachko realized the genre couldn't properly support the story they wanted to tell, so they continued work on it – including visiting museums and speaking with historians and scientists – until finally realizing their new vision for the game and releasing it on Steam for Windows, Mac and Linux in 2017. For those who prefer their gaming on consoles, you’re in in luck, as The Mooseman has now been ported to Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.