Review – Old Man’s Journey

Reviewing Old Man’s Journey was harder than expected. It was a game that surprised me due to some aspects and disappointed me due to some others. Ever had something really good at a restaurant, an extremely tasty and beautifully presented meal that still disappointed you since it was small and you ate it too quickly? That’s the same feeling I had with this game. This is a gorgeous and somewhat memorable indie title, but a very short one at that, sadly.

No tip?

Old Man’s Journey is a simple game to describe. It’s a port of a well-received iOS title that revolves around guiding an old man in a pseudo point-and-click style across beautifully hand-drawn landscapes, basically going from one cutscene-generating area to the next cutscene-generating area. In order to reach those areas, you’ll need to rearrange the height and length of all the hills you can walk on; so you connect one hill to an adjacent hill, making it possible for the old man to proceed. Gameplay-wise, that’s all the game has to offer.

Gotta say, this is a gorgeous little game

Does this mean that Old Man’s Journey is a puzzle game? Not really. Granted, the game isn’t your typical artsy game devoid of any actual gameplay. It’s not your typical Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture or Tacoma, but the little bit of gameplay the game offers isn’t much of a challenge, acting more as a little road (both literally and figuratively) between two different cutscenes.

The biggest problem with the game, though, is its duration. Old Man’s Journey lasts a little more than two hours. That’s right. Even though the game is gorgeous, sounds pretty good, and has an actually interesting puzzle concept, it’ll all be over in two hours. That’s sad on so many levels, not only because the mechanics are interesting, but also because the old man’s story was actually captivating and worth caring about. By the time you think things are just starting to heat up, it’s game over.

Imagine having this framed on your wall

Old Man’s Journey is a beautiful game with incredible visuals and an adorable soundtrack, but it suffers from the fact it’s extremely short and devoid of any difficulty, even if its innovative gameplay paved the way for some potentially challenging segments. I wouldn’t call it a missed opportunity, but the game definitely left me wanting more, as it felt more like a small appetizer than a complete course.

Graphics: 9.0

Old Man’s Journey‘s hand-drawn visuals are simply gorgeous to look at.

Gameplay: 7.0

The entire gameplay can be summarised in adjusting cliffs with the touchscreen. You can also use the joycons, but they aren’t as precise or practical.

Sound: 8.5

The game compensates its lack of voice acting and minimal amount of sound effects with an excellent acoustic-focused soundtrack.

Fun Factor: 5.0

Despite boasting an adorable story, the game features little to no challenge. It is also extremely short.

Final Verdict: 7.0

Copy of Old Man’s Journey provided by publisher.