Developed By: Hidden Fields Published By: MWM Interactive Categories: First Person Horror, Puzzle, Adventure Release Date: 05.27.21
Mundaun is a different kind of game. It’s almost hard to really review it, or in my opinion give it a proper score. As far as I’m aware, the game is pretty divisive with people who play it.
To explain it better, Mundaun to me feels like something that should have been an animated film or series. It has absolutely everything going for it…maybe outside of the gameplay. But at the same time, the interactivity makes it stand out. A striking pencil sketch artstyle is the first thing I noticed. It’s not exactly visually friendly and it did make my eyes feel funny at times in motion, but it stands out so much from other games, I can’t help but love it. The language in Mundaun isn’t English, but Romansh, which is an incredibly niche and uncommon language in this day and age, it’s a fascinating choice and even fits in rather well with the European-esqe town of Mundaun the game takes place in.
While I’d rather not say much of the story, the way it’s presented, quite often in interactive cutscenes is a great way to keep players invested. The game begins with our main character returning to Mundaun to go to his grandfather’s funeral, learning he passed in a barn fire, only to find his grandfather’s grave empty. I really enjoy the story and how it’s presented, but I do think everything between that can drag.
In between the story beats is a lot of walking and looking. This can be a big issue with the black and white sketch style, since everything kinda looks the same at a glance or things can get far too dark. Go from one place to another, maybe do a puzzle, repeat. It’s not quite obvious what should be done despite being told what to do, even with some puzzles, so you’ll probably just search around. I did find myself enjoying the more mundane things in this game though. For instance, making coffee is a mechanic to help with something I’ll discuss in a bit. To make coffee, we’ll need to get the grounds, but we’ll need water to. Go grab a pan and collect some water to put the grounds in…but we also need to get that water nice and hot, so lets find some wood. Finally, grab some matches to start the fire. Wait wait wait, we need a cup to drink out of too! As you can see, this is a process, but is worth it and it feels good to put all of that work into it. Now we can finally go to the bathroom and use the toilet, which in Mundaun does include a sound for peeing…hope you decide to flush.
So being as this a first person horror game, you know what’s coming up right? Middling combat. Ofcourse, there’s always a reason for these games to do that, not everyone is master fighter. And you can fight back, but more often than not it’s better to just avoid conflict. Get to close to these monsters and you’ll freeze up in fear. This is what coffee helps with, to lower your fear. On top of all of this, the game has plenty a nice visual trick to mess with the player including one in a mirror I’ll let people experience for themselves.
I can understand why people would not like Mundaun on the basis of the genre it is, and I can kinda agree with them. However, I do find the game worth experiencing regardless. You can very much tell this game is someone’s passion project, especially from how long the director put into it.
Buy Now: $19.99
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*Game Download Code graciously supplied for the purpose of review