Parents' Guide to


By David Chapman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Hand-drawn horror adventure feels scribbled together.

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One of the biggest struggles in game development is achieving a balance between style and substance. While the indie horror adventure Mundaun can't be faulted for a lack of either, it's the balance part that the game seems to struggle with. The game's artistic style is unique, to say the least. It's first-person perspective uses 3D models, but with textures that have all been hand-drawn in pencil. While it makes for a distinct look, it's also jarring in a lot of places. Sometimes it's difficult to make out details in the environment and to understand what exactly you're supposed to be looking at. There's not a lot of consistency in the art either. Some sketches look sharp and finely tuned, while others look like they were haphazardly scribbled together in a rush. Finally, there's a noticeable disconnect that comes when trying to attach these sketches to basic 3D models. It makes the movements and animations of the game feel awkward and unnatural.

Mundaun's substance starts off almost as awkward as its style. The game has a bad habit of just tossing players into situations with no real explanation. At one point near the start, players get sucked into a drawing of their grandfather's burning barn. After a quick story beat, the player just arrives inside the barn and continues on as if nothing happened. The controls add to this frustration, especially when players run into invisible obstacles keeping them from moving to a seemingly open area, or when they're expected to walk casually through what looks like an impassible space. Eventually, things begin to smooth out a bit as the story starts to come together and the navigation issues get fewer and farther between. Still, sticking it out to this point will test the patience and tolerance of most gamers. Ultimately, Mundaun winds up feeling like an avant-garde film that's more interested in standing out in a crowd than in telling its tale.

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