Old Man's Journey PC Review

Light gameplay alongside great music and visuals make Old Man's Journey a nice little choice for when you just want to relax.

By Woozie, Posted 18 May 2017

At a first glance, Old Man’s Journey made me think of children’s books, or older cartoons. That happened mostly due to the colorful art that, even during darker moments, seemed to suggest a sense of optimism. Having Broken Rules’ previous game, Secrets of Raetikon, in mind I was curious to see how their “soul-searching puzzle adventure” turned out.

The central gameplay mechanic in Old Man’s Journey revolves around shifting the position of terrain so as to allow the main character to move further. Terrain is positioned on several 2D planes. Using the mouse, you can move it up and down so that it meets another slope. When they meet, a circle appears at the intersection. This allows the old man to jump from one plane to the other. The puzzles remain casual throughout, with a very slight increase in difficulty towards the end. Clicking certain objects in the environment provides interactions with certain elements like, say, opening a door to find a girl fixing her bike. While a neat little addition to the worldbuilding, they offer little value to the story, never being part of an established larger context. For a title made with mobile platforms in mind, the mouse controls behave well.

Old Man's Journey, Screenshot, PC, Review

With gameplay being straightforward, Old Man’s Journey banks on its narrative, and more so, on telling a story without using words. In this respect, it employs the use of a hand drawn world that’s, in all honesty, quite beautiful. The style is cohesive and a joy to look at on a larger screen.  At the end of each of the fifteen sequences, you’re rewarded with a piece of art that details elements of the titular old man’s past. This, coupled with the journey you’re helping the man undertake, help in piecing out what happened to him. The intention is to provide a grounded journey through an old man’s life, using the lens of memory. The music, visuals and natural elements follow suit, being in tune with the man’s state of mind and soul through each step of the journey. Furthermore, the soundtrack isn’t overproduced, thus enhancing the personal feeling behind the game. By all means, some of these levels have the ability to draw one in, in spite of the rather simplistic approach to gameplay.

You’ll most likely breeze through Old Man’s Journey in some two to three hours. When it comes to how effective it is in telling its story, it may turn out to be hit or miss. The means through which Old Man’s Journey goes about telling its story don’t come off as effective as those in other similar titles on the PC. Its pacing is broken down, as relevant past details only come at the end of levels. The man’s present journey isn’t very consistent with details either. In its attempt to not be overbearing, the narrative fails to leave a mark in the long term. I’d lie if I’d say I didn’t feel close to the main character on one or two occasions. The ending even made me tear up. With that in mind, I doubt I’ll remember Old Man’s Journey in the same way I remember Kentucky Route Zero.

Old Man's Journey, Screenshot, PC, Review

Even with its heartfelt tale, Old Man’s Journey felt less like a game one can get invested in and more like something to be played, say, on a long bus trip. It does come with beautiful levels that feel like large paintings which, coupled with the soundtrack, have the ability to draw you in their world. While the simplistic gameplay can be excused, the pacing of the story detracts from the experience.  Old Man’s Journey is a nice little choice for when you just want to relax. When it comes to having a compelling narrative, the PC boasts other, better, alternatives.

Have a look at our Secrets Of Raetikon Review.

Bogdan Robert, NoobFeed
Facebook | Twitter

comments powered by Disqus


General Information

Platform(s): PC
Publisher(s): Broken Rules
Developer(s): Broken Rules
Genres: Adventure
Themes: Indie, 2D
Release Date: 2017-04-19

View All

Popular Articles