Old Man’s Journey Review: Up and Away

May 18th, 2017 -

When you think of a journey in a video game, chances are you go down the path of traversing the entire planet, fighting monsters, saving lives, and eventually saving the world When you think of what an elderly person is capable of, you probably have a different take on what their journey will be. While it may very well be different from a typical game’s journey, it’s no less impressive or emotionally satisfying by the end.

581270_screenshots_20170511171252_1

The story begins with an Old Man standing by his house when the Mailman arrives with a telegram. After reading through it, our protagonist looks concerned and heads into his house, grabs his things, and sets out. One of the first things you’ll notice when playing this is how the Old Man gets around. When I was little, I used to draw rolling hills thinking it was so cool that I was able to capture depth. Well, that gets thrown right out the window with this, as those layered hills are seen as intersections and are hopped to and from willy nilly. Having studied art for years, it caught me off-guard, and I loved it.

Coincidentally, the majority of the gameplay is centered on this mechanic. You will be grabbing the ground around the level and raising or lowering it as necessary to create paths for the Old Man. The only things to note are that you can’t change the ground that the Old Man is standing on, and each hill has it’s limit of movement. Additionally, there are fixed objects, such as buildings, that you can stand on but not move regardless of position. There are also obstacles such as sheep that will block your path, and you’ll have to figure out how to get around them. That’s essentially the gameplay you’ll be tasked with.

581270_screenshots_20170512125450_1

The game offers lush screens full of color, each with their own mood. When you come to the end of a section or level, you’ll appear to go to sleep or contemplate what’s going on at the very least, and the screen will go black. From here, you’ll click to bring up what appears to be the sun, from which you’ll start the day again. Most if not all of these instances are preceded by a scene in which you must interact with the correct clickable on screen, such as a crane or a person. Aside from walking, you’ll encounter various forms of transport, including a train and hot air balloon.

The music of the game is both soothing and a bit demanding of your travels. Each level has its own song, which may or may not get to you depending on how long you’re spending on any given portion of the game. There is no dialogue, but there is still a fairly strict understanding of what is happening. Be it symbolism throughout or the Old Man’s face as he is zoomed in on prior to sleeping.

581270_screenshots_20170512123021_1

The game ran beautifully, with no outright flaws. There were some graphical instances that will stand out, since the nature of the game involves tracks that you’re moving, and they don’t snap; this is most obvious when traveling by train. However, nothing detracts from the journey – not even knowing how it was going to end. By the time you finally help the Old Man make it, you see what he’s been through, and it’s worth it.

Old Man’s Journey is not your next Super Meat Boy, nor is it going to be a super in-depth emotional rollercoaster like To the Moon. This is a short adventure across the country to see something through that most people can relate to. It’s casual, and meant to be played in spurts. If you’re willing to spend some time with a beautiful, relaxing game for a couple hours, this game is meant for you.

BUY

Pros

  • Gorgeous Landscapes
  • Innovative On-Rails Gameplay
  • Emotions of Old Man

Cons

  • Occasional Rail Jumps

Old Man’s Journey was developed and published by Broken Rules. The game launches on Steam for $7.99, as well as iOS and Android for $4.99 May 18th, 2017. The game was provided to us for review on PC. If you’d like to see more of Old Man’s Journey, check out the official site.

 

Here at FFoP we use a rating method that you may be unfamiliar with, so allow us to clarify. When we review a game, we see what sort of BRA fits. Buy, Rent, or Acquire is the rating we give out – we’ve boiled it down for simplicity. A Buy is worth the full retail value; a Rent is something you may want to try before you buy, or grab at a discount; an Acquire is something you can play, but we’d suggest borrowing it from someone, grabbing it in a game bundle, or some other means. If you want further clarification, please feel free to get in touch.

No comments yet

Name (required)
Email(required)