Thanks to the wonderful people at Krillbite Studio, I was provided with an early copy of their upcoming dystopian game, Mosaic. Mosaic is an atmospheric point and click adventure game. I remember seeing this game on the E3 PC Gaming Show and it was one of the few that actually interested me during that show. It reminded me of similar dark, dystopian games like Inside. A few months later and I’ve finally played the game, but does it live up to my expectations? Let’s find out!
Eat. Work. Sleep. Repeat.
You are a nameless worker who lives a monotonous life in a cold city, with no real sense of meaning and you live in a repetitive life of work and sleep. Until one crucial day, when strange things start to happen and everything changes. The game has an emphasis on the meaningless activities that the protagonist does. For example, the phone distracts you with meaningless notifications as you move through anonymous crowds. I enjoyed how bleak and depressing the world was and how it compares with our real-world societies.
But that’s not to say the game is extremely grey all the time. There are some times where we see some hope and wonder in our characters life. For example, early on in the game, we see a bright yellow butterfly soar through the grey city in a beautiful scene. However, the butterfly dies due to the dangerous construction and snaps us back into the colorless reality. This, and many other moments like this, sell the game for what it is and what it’s trying to tell us as an audience. It deeply explores themes of nihilism, depression from social issues like finances and work, and for me, they all hit well for the story. As the story progresses, it gets stranger by each day, and you don’t know what to expect next. The transition from a repetitive life to a strange life is a great juxtaposition.
Do As You’re Told.
To help reinforce the repetitive and sluggish days of our character’s life at work, you don’t have much to control since it’s a point and click genre and you can move and interact with necessary objects in the world. The most gameplay you get out of this game is when you are at work. When you are at work, you are required to solve puzzles to reach a “milestone”, which is pretty much a slap to the face because the next day I would get a message saying “my expected work is 13% lower than the average worker”.
It’s upsetting to see the state that the protagonist is in. You see his bank account in the negative, messages from broken friendship, etc. All you can do is work and explore the city until the story progresses. While all this great in terms of story and themes, the gameplay is still very limited, and I wish there was just a bit more to change up the gameplay.
Just An Ordinary World.
Sure the story is great and the gameplay is okay but how’s the design of the world? Well, it’s morbid in a good way. The city you live in and explore is monotone, with a bunch of people in suits crowding the streets. The buildings and roads are dull blues and greys to reinforce the boring, sad world this game takes place in. The lighting in the game also looks wonderful with the number of details such as curtain lights slipping through the windows with dust being a highlight in the light. Like I mentioned before, there are some whimsical moments where something of colour appears to contrast with the dull world. The usage of colour and cell-shading works well with the theme of the game. Plus, whenever music is played, which plays occasionally, not only sounds great for a soundtrack, but also fits into the world which is a nice addition.
Unfortunately, I can’t say the same about the sound effects. The city feels lifeless, but not in the way I think they designed it to be. For a working city, I would expect a lot more construction noises, loud crowds of people getting to work, and moving vehicles. However, it feels a bit too quiet sometimes in my opinion. I do appreciate the lack of voice acting though as I think proper voice acting would take me out of the experience a bit.
In the end, while I wouldn’t consider Mosaic an amazing point and click game, I would consider it an amazing experience which reminds me a bit too much of society today that it almost becomes uncanny. The world is dreary, morbid, and boring for all the right reasons with a slither of hope and life always around the corner. While the gameplay itself could have done a bit more then what it did. All the other aspect of the game such as the story, theme, music etc. carry throughout the whole journey.
You can buy the game for $19.99 on Steam, PS4, Xbox One & Nintendo Switch.
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For more reviews and opinions on Mosaic, check out Open Critic here.
- THE GOOD
- Meaningful Messages and Reflects Real World Issues
- Amazing World Design
- Great Usage Of Contrast Of Colours
- Wonderful Music
- THE BAD
- Needs More Impactful Sound Effect
- Bare Bones Point & Click Gameplay