How we play and interact with games is changing. Mobile games have seen that. We now hold the power of a tiny console in the palm of our hands, and this affords a lot of opportunities to indie developers to tell unique stories using innovative storytelling devices. Old Man’s Journey is one such game.
May 18th, 2017
Feb. 20th, 2018 EU/AUS and US
Feb. 22th, 2018 Japan
May 29th, 2018
Genre: Puzzle adventure
Size: 943.26 MB
Developed and published by Broken Rules
Reviewed on Playstation 4, also available on PC, mobile (iOS and Android) and Nintendo Switch.
A puzzle-driven story game about life’s precious moments, broken dreams, and changed plans.
You play as an Old Man who finds himself looking out on the horizon. A letter arrives and he packs his bag for his journey. The story is simple in its nature, the old man recollects his past through his travels, and finds he yearns for the things he did not choose in life. There is an emotional connection between the landscape of the game and the narrative.
Old Man’s Journey is a point and click “sidescroller”. A small cursor guides the old man on his journey. I was pleased to find some unique gameplay surprises in how Old Man’s Journey used its environments.
The cursor can move the old man, but can also change the environment – with the goal of creating a path forward for the old man. This game isn’t as much of a sidescroller as it is a vertical scroller. As you move from left and right, you can raise and lower parts of the map to complete the path and allow the old man to reach his destination. It’s an interesting puzzle aspect of the game, which doesn’t take away from the beautiful art design that went into development.
I was left wanting a little more from the puzzles – I found most of them easy, with very few offering any real challenges, but I also feel like this game is meant for the more casual gamer. Still, more challenging game modes would have been nice.
Graphics and Sound
The real star of the show is the art direction of the game. Old Man’s Journey plays out on a living canvas – the art design is breathtaking. The game is like a children’s book that has come to life. Picturesque animations help move the narrative along, and while there isn’t a single line of dialogue spoken, the story is conveyed in a simple, beautiful manner.
The graphics are complimented with an equally beautiful score which accompanies the story as though it were another character within the game. As there is no dialogue, the score helps create an emotional tension throughout and was quite lovely.
I would be remiss to mention Old Man’s Journey is a mobile title that has made the jump to console. This budget title is an quick and easy completion, though does give you a chance to go back if you’re into trophy hunting. It would be an especially good title for those with younger children who game, or for people who are new to gaming in general it is a great starting point.
There isn’t much depth beyond the main story, however it’s a nice one. I did find myself at the end of the journey wishing it had been a little longer, but I was happy to have taken the ride.