“A story of life, loss, and hope.”
Nine times out of ten, I start writing the review right after I finish the game. It has been two days since I finished Old Man’s Journey and I still don’t know if I can find the right words to describe the game to you and place it to its rightful place.
Old Man’s Journey is a soul-searching puzzle adventure in which we lead an old man, clearly, by shaping the landscape. While playing an indie game, I always know that I will come across something which will shape the game, a brilliant idea which will make the game shine amongst others, and maybe even I will witness a breakthrough in the game genre. And, Broken Rules did an astonishing job while inserting their idea to the game.
For Old Man’s Journey, this breakthrough is shaping the landscape. This nameless old man who resembles Santa Claus can only proceed if we shape the landscape correctly for him. You see, Santa is old and along his away, he encounters mountains, hills, rivers, waterfalls and such. But, he must continue despite how old he is and how hard the journey will be.
“Wander sun-drenched, rolling hills.
Cast shackles off your memories.”
Old Man’s Journey indeed has a unique landscape-shaping mechanic which basically works by drag and drop feature. When you encounter a mountain, you simply must align it with the ground you are standing on, so the lines can merge and create a larger line for old man to walk. He can jump the hill behind the hill which he is standing, but you must create an intersection point for him.
The game started with a house by the edge of the hill, near the sea. And, there I was looking at the screen with my mouth open. Yes, I always find simplicity charming and yes, I may get overly excited by simple yet beautiful creations. Like, when I was shocked when I fist ate ice cream with halva. One was extremely hot and the other one was extremely cold, and I was shocked with the ongoing party in my mouth and repeating “but, how did they make this!?” and people were like ” they just put the one on top of the other one”. But, the main point is that they find two beautiful things that you think won’t match with each other, and they put them together in the most beautiful and simple way possible for you to enjoy.
The Old Man’s Journey arouses the same feeling at the very beginning. With a letter, the old man’s face filled with sorrow in this marvelous world with mesmerizing art work. I told myself that I must get ready for an emotionally destructive journey with the old man for my heart shall break along the way.
Old Man’s Journey offers an art work similar to marshmellow. It is colored with the most soft colors possible with the most calming sun. With no doubt, you will find yourself in a tight situation while deciding that if you must enjoy the tranquility of the environment or feeling sorry for the old man. Here are some of my screenshots of Old Man’s Journey:
This old man is an absolute challenger and will give you the power to go on even when your heart is shattered to pieces. Along with beautiful hand-drawn art and frame-by-frame animations, Old Man’s Journey offers a decent and mysterious story which will unravel when the old man take rests and find shelters along the way. Something around him like a noise will create a flashback to his memories and through these flashbacks, we will learn the meaning of our journey.
“A final chance to seek amends
And find your heart,
Once lost at sea.”
Shaping the landscape like a semi-god is not the only challenge the game offers. Along the way, we come across some sheep and rocks which are actually puzzles we must solve in order to go on. But, none of them is hard enough to spoil the experience.
While taking the most heartbreaking hike of your life, charming soundtracks by SCNTFC will accompany you. But, I must say that the soundtracks are mostly in a harmony with the gameplay, not with the story you delved in. While the story is getting more and more saddening, unraveling the reason which made the old man start a long journey despite his old age, it seems like the soundtrack always bilevel with the lively gameplay.
The other charming thing is that you can interact with environment and other people, not only with the obstacles. You can click on other people or drag your mouse on trees or lights and they will give a reaction which I find amazing.
It is amazing that when your heartbreak grows along the way and you feel more and more desperate; the shining sun, the flashbacks of the old man, the thought that we all may end up like the old man always keeps you going. If the Old Man’s Journey will give you nothing, I highly doubt that, it will give you a reason to go on. It will give you the power to seeks amends like it says. It will give you a reason to believe that whatever the reason is, you must never give up because the road is always there if you find the courage to put one foot in front of another. And, when there is no way, you can just go ahead and create one.
I know I am being sentimental, but what is this game if not sentimental? A pleasure to the eye and an arrow to the heart? Well, yes. Is Old Man’s Journey a trap? No. Old Man’s Journey is indeed a story of life, loss and hope. And, believe it or not, it is our story.
From my point of view, Broken Rules took a risk of creating a game with their hearts. They did a splendid job and carried a noble burden on their shoulders. With only with your mouse, you will help this old man carry his burden even further when the sun shines above. If you have the courage to walk beside this sad old man and share his story, Old Man’s Journey is your game.
Old Man’s Journey is now out for PC, Android and iOS. You can go ahead and visit the game’s Steam page from here.
- Captivating story which will make you question your life
- Heart-melting art design
- Unique landscape-shaping gameplay mechanics
- Tiny on size, splendid performance on PC
- Too charming to end in two hours
- Soundtrack could have reflect the story from time to time
Old Man’s Journey was reviewed using a Steam key provided by Broken Rules.