Written by Jack Bankhead
Copy provided by publisher
Old Man’s Journey was an interesting journey for me. Old Man’s Journey is poignant in its story, but somewhat boring and flawed in the gameplay, and it just quite didn’t capture me. While the art and sound are incredible, and the wordless story playing out like magic, the gameplay fails to me, and as such, makes it not as great as a game.
The game is a port of a mobile game. Before you freak out there, though, just because a game is on mobile DOESN’T mean it’s BAD. It can be really good! Old Man’s Journey has a ton of awards, and I’ll say it deserves them. The art has this cool aesthetic with the colors and design. The sound is calm, cool, chill, or whatever you want to call it. The narrative is told without words, and it does this really well.
As it is a port of a mobile game, the way to play is by tapping certain areas to move, and dragging hills. With the Joy-Cons, you can use your control stick as a mouse, almost. On handheld, you can use touchscreen. (more recommended) On any, you can use Joy-Con pointer controls, which work great, as expected. (Most recommended)
More on the gameplay. The titular Old Man can walk around environments, and the job of the player is to guide him to the other side of each level. To do that, you drag hills up and down to make them closer/farther from certain areas that stay constant in an attempt to make it through the level. At the end of each level, the Old Man will reminiscence about his youth, in a little single frame.
In my opinion, the game is a little boring. It’s not chill like Stardew Valley where I’m so relaxed I just keep playing. It’s not ultra clever like some puzzle games, it’s light on that side. Some puzzles I found frustrating, taking from the enjoyment of the game.
Overall, Old Man’s Journey is decent. While the art, sound and story are top notch, the gameplay is mediocre. I do recommend picking it up if you enjoy poignantly told stories, chill puzzle games, or you are simply interested in the game. The most I can do is simply recommend the game.
Reviewed on the Nintendo Switch, review copy provided by Broken Rules