Mundaun Review Pencil Hell Portal
The good horror games are reinforced by the atmosphere. Graphics do not have to be upscale, but they must be suggestive, you know? Mundane, in terms of atmosphere, is a resounding success. It is a sketchbook full of nightmares that comes alive, a series of detailed pencil drawings that come out of the page and start scratching at your door. Yet, as disturbing as this game is, I struggled to stay addicted. It turns out that the rhythm is also an essential element of a good history of horror.
You play a young man investigating the death of his grandfather. The whole game takes place in a small alpine valley sleeping, full of terrible mysteries. Questions about his death arise immediately, as well as a crowd of strange characters and horrible appearances. How did it happen? Who was involved? What will happen to you if you keep digging deeper? Your character keeps his own sketchbook, which fills with magnificent and disturbing details as you progress. When the story advance, it’s great! These are the intermediate phases that will put your patience to the test.
Here’s where this rhythm problem comes into play. If you spend too much time doing long walks between the same four buildings, it’s hard to maintain the frightening tension. Mundane is beautiful and horrible, but much of this ephemeral accumulation is evacuated by the hours you spend looking for clues. Maybe your own mileage will vary. Maybe the graphite trait drawing will suck you more efficiently or that the crusade atmosphere will help maintain your immersion. My experience was as uneven as the ground. The ritual profanation and the fabulous nightmares are accompanied by vast expanses of sinister silence. Twisted mirrors reflecting the decomposed flesh came only after 45 minutes of clicking on all surfaces within range, browsing my inventory to see which random object would advance the plot. All this has stopped seeming scary, after a while.
What is a shame because the atmosphere in question is downright sinister. When music goes up, the camera is slowly zoomed and raw images start to vibrate of life? It’s a high-level creeping terror, right there. Just plug in for a while to get there, that’s all. Maybe I’m just bad, but the old adventure game formula Object + Obstacle = Progress has never clicked for me. This requires methodical patience that puts my brain tight. This could have something to do with my deep frustration playing in Mundane.
My most huge roadblock came to the beginning of the game. There was a locked door that I had to open. But the keys I discovered have all open other less interesting doors. What should I do? Fortunately, after just two hours of wandering on the same four paths, I fell on the solution. Establish visual contact with a stranger away on a neighboring hill! They were kind enough to send me the index that allowed me to progress. After that, I went to the races, so to speak. This happens with some regularity. What I mean is to show a lot of patience when preparing this disaster expedition in the mountains.
These problems are not a joke, but they are buried in a beautiful package. Each texture has been hand drawn, with a pencil not less, before being imported into the game. Each Eldritch wall, each of the monsters and all the background details were all concocted in a real sketchbook. The result is a small strange world, which seems quite authentic. It is a real portal to the Swiss Alps, filtered through the sincere lens of the nostalgia of childhood and deeply rooted fears. It is the terror of the side look, the allusion to what will happen, the promise of graphite and coal of suffering and pain. A simple line drawing can tell a terrifying story, and Mundane uses it wisely.
It all depends on the type of atmosphere you are looking for. Do you want your Eldritch horror to go into the pipe at a measured and prudent pace? Or are you engaged for something more frantic, more relentless? I have always assumed that my appetite for the horror was hesitant, but it turns out that I can be relaxed too slowly. Who knew? If you do not mind being patient, however, Mundane may agree. Hand-drawn graphics are beautiful but disturbing, the construction of the world is cooked in all surfaces and lonely horror atmosphere reaches great moments. If you do not mind long walks through the mountains, there is a fascinating story here, which is only waiting to be told.