Mundaun | PS4 Review
Mundaun is a hand-penciled, first-person horror adventure game set in a secluded valley high up in the Swiss Alps. It is developed by Hidden Fields and published by MWM Interactive, and it is currently available on Windows PC, PayStation, XBox, and Nintendo Switch. For the purposes of this review, I was playing on the PlayStation 4, with a review key that was very kindly supplied to us by Warning Up.
The first thing I need to say about Mundaun is that the visuals in the game are incredible. If you have never played a game before that has been hand-drawn, then you are in for a treat with Mundaun. There are occasional moments where some things just do not look right, but these are very few and far between. I found myself becoming completely absorbed by the story, which is very heavy in folklore, as well as the black & white landscapes, which take you from the secluded valley below, up through the twisty tunnels cut into the mountain itself, until you eventually reach those snow covered peaks. Oh and you can pet the goats!
In Mundaun, you play in first-person as Curdin, who, after receiving news of his grandfather's mysterious death, sets off to attend the funeral. Soon after arriving there, you are drawn into all manner of horrors relating to your late grandfather and surrounding his death. The story contained within the game is steeped heavilly in local myth and folklore, and as you progress further into the game, you will encounter various puzzles to solve, relating to the story and to the folklore. The dialogue in Mundaun is spoken in Romansh, which is one of Switzerland's official languages, and this certainly does add to the overall atmosphere of the game.
Throughout Mundaun, as well as walking around on foot, you have your grandfather's old truck, which is required at various stages of the game. You can 'summon' the truck at certain locations, where you see a poster for the truck, just by looking at the poster. This does come in handy at times, especially if you have forgotten where you have left the truck. Additionally, once you venture further up the mountain, there are sledges dotted around the slopes, and these can be used to get you around that little bit quicker. Combat in Mundaun is optional, and you can go through the entire game avoiding all of the combat if you so choose. There were some instances later on in the game where I was low on ammo for the rifle, and I just opted to do a lot of running, rather than engage in combat.
Mundaun has a variety of puzzles contained in the game for you, and most of them are straightforward, but some will have you scratching your head a little. There are 3 stats which you can level up throughout the game - health, sanity and marksmanship. There is also a fear system, which affects your aiming with the rifle. The more you are scared, for instance, the closer an enemy gets to you, the more this will affect your aiming. Along the way, there are plenty of clues scattered around, which get stored in your journal, and they can be viewed in your inventory along with items that you pick up. These are accessed during the game by pressing the Triangle button for your journal and the Square button for your inventory. Benches located at high vantage points act as sightseeing spots. These benches are the in-game map system, and you just sit down on them to uncover the part of the map for the area you can see from that particular bench. The more benches you sit down at, the more of the map will become visilble to you. Mundaun will auto-save for you at key moments in the game, and you also have the option to manually save the game by using the clocks that you find in buildings, so there is no shortage of saving opportunities.
If you are looking for a horror game, and Mundaun has maybe slipped under your radar, you definitely will not be disappointed. There are up to 8 hours of gameplay here for you, with that maybe being slightly less, if you are not keen on exploring. I, myself, like to fully explore every inch of the games I play, so the 8 hours were based on my own playthrough. The hand-drawn visuals, along with the Romansh dialogue, and the eerie atmospheric soundtrack, all add up to make Mundaun quite a unique gaming experience. The game will totally draw you in (no pun intended), and I was a little bit sad when it ended. It is the kind of game you could revisit at a later date, especially to get those elusive trophies you missed the first time round.
g1a5w3g1an's Rating: 4.5 ominous looking hay men out of 5.
For more information on Mundaun please use the following links...
Many thanks to Warming Up for supplying the review code.