Parents' Guide to


By Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Dark narrative adventure tackles isolation, depression.

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What you will—and won't—find in this game.

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Narrative adventures tend to exist between the worlds of games and films, and this one is no different. Mosaic isn't meant to challenge your skill as a player of games, but rather to challenge how you think. It uses a series of metaphors for and distorted imitations of everyday activities to make the player look at modern working life from a new perspective. It shows us how the things people do every day, whether it's gazing at a screen or doing a job-related task, are all part of a carefully structured personal routine, and how each of our routines line up with one another to serve as cogs in a massive social and corporate machine. As days bleed into each another, our hero begins to have surreal, symbolic experiences -- drowning in water, riding a conveyor belt to be ground up by the company, being shrunk to the size of a mouse and trying to avoid being trampled by a stampede of feet. But mixed in among them are moments of hope and creativity, typically marked by colorful objects, such as a golden sun or warm-grained guitar. These are the strands of individuality that act as a lifeline out of a sea of conformity and expectation.

Whether any of this is of interest will depend on the person playing. Players yet to experience a job may not be able to sympathize or empathize with the protagonist's plight or his feeling of being just another spoke in a giant wheel. And those who play games more for their elements of challenge and skill than their stories will likely be left frustrated that there are no abilities to master, no loot to collect, no statistics to grow. But there will be a niche audience for whom Mosaic resonates. And these people might well take solace in the experience, if only because it lets everyone feeling isolated and trapped by routine know that they aren't actually alone.

Game Details

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