A watercolor puzzle adventure through the lore of Russian tribes.
There are a number of games today using tribal history and stories. The Mooseman uses a combination of stories on how the world was created and how each day comes and goes from the Komi Permians, Komi Zyrians, Mansi, and Saami tribes who lived in Russia and Scandanavia. The story told is extremely interesting, and blends really well with the water color art style. The art and colors of the game play significantly into the game and how it is played. The beautiful visuals give a sense of wonder to the world, and aid in telling the story by having a story book feel that illustrates these stories that have been passed down from one generation to another.
The Mooseman is an adventure puzzle style game where to move further through the level you must switch between the real world and the spirit world. This mechanic works well and is used in a number of different ways quite well. About halfway through the game you gain another mechanic of being able to hold a light in your staff. By adding this lighting mechanic to the spirit mechanic, new puzzles are allowed to develop. While the puzzles present all feel pretty fresh and individual, there were some puzzles that did not seem to have a clear solution and became frustrating. The game also seems slightly short for the price it is offered at, lasting between 3 and 5 hours if played straight through.
Each checkpoint you reach unlocks a new portion of the story of how the worlds were created, and how the cycle of days and weeks came to be. This story is really interesting and in most cases mirrors your journey through the game which often helped me to further engage in what was happening besides just how to solve the puzzles. There are also secret emblems that you can collect throughout the game. Some of these are as easy to find as walking backwards when you arrive in a new area, but others involve clever puzzle sections that use the spirit mechanic in innovative ways. These also help tell the story of the tribes as they are emblems of actual artifacts found in the region and your collection screen will tell you about these and where they are currently housed.
The Mooseman was a beautiful adventure that gave me an appreciation for a culture I had never been aware of before. The art and story told through The Mooseman kept me extremely engaged for my relatively short time with the game. Overall, The Mooseman is a game that offers a fun puzzle mechanic wrapped in a pleasing package.