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icoola > blog > A warm melancholic story called "Old Man's Journey". Review of a touching game.
26 March 2021

A warm melancholic story called "Old Man's Journey". Review of a touching game.

Review of the story-driven indie game Old Man's Journey

Evgeny Rogozny

How does Old Man's Journey catch you?

First of all, it is with the art and the warm atmosphere. The screensaver has a motley picture: on the slope near the water surface there is a simple house, behind the sun slowly setting below the horizon, and a warm drawn sunset gleams against the background of rocks and cliffs. This picture is mesmerizing, for some reason I immediately remember "The Old Man and the Sea" by Ernest Hemingway. It is immediately clear that something bright awaits us.

Sunset on the backdrop of cliffs

Secondly, the feedback from the players. They almost praise the game. Among thousands of positive comments, you will find neither bile nor anger. To be fair, it should be noted that I noticed only 2 complaints: the game is too short, only for a couple of evenings and that it did not start on the iPad, but the developers soon fixed this error. It is rare to find a game with such warm popular support.

What is the game about?

I will try to tell this story without spoilers. The game starts from the same house on the slope. An old man lives there and the idea comes to him to visit places of youth, to surrender to nostalgia and just unwind, look at the world.

travel old man

In general, the game is very short - the passage will not take you more than a couple of hours, but you will remember these hours for a long time. A melancholic story about life and its true values ​​awaits you. A simple life story that will not leave you indifferent.

Graphics and play style

Despite the fact that this indie game is made in the form of drawings, perspectives and shadows are well observed in it. The artists created the effect that an oil painting came to life in front of the player. Depending on the tone of the narrative, the overall picture is dominated by light or dark colors. Here, for example, is the moment at which history thickens:

bad weather…

Or, on the contrary, when the old man is given warm memories:

fine and warm weather

The animations here are clumsy - it feels like only 3-10 frames per second, which surprisingly plays into the hands of the general entourage of the game and the atmosphere.

From time to time during the plot you will be shown pictures, they are drawn in more detail than the main game. Pictures, by the way, are animated and carry a good half of the game's narrative, so I advise you not only to admire them, but also to delve into their essence.

part of the plot in the picture

A little bit about the gameplay ...

"Old Man's Journey"Is an easy-to-learn puzzle game. Your task is to guide the old man to the places where he has been in the past and, by touching the mouse or sensor, restore them the way he remembered them in previous years. Sometimes you will encounter obstacles, then you will need to help the forgetful old man remember how to get around them. All you need is a grain of savvy.

Music in the game

The soundtrack in the game was clearly recorded with musical instruments; here are guessed, as well as strings, and winds and percussion, and mechanical and even reed. Without a musical education, it is difficult to say for sure where and what is playing, but one thing is certain - the music touches, plays on the sensual strings of the soul and sets the right tone for the story.

You need to play this game only with sound and preferably with headphones. All elements of the game are interconnected and if one of them falls out of the player's perception, all magic collapses.

Why is Old Man's Journey a masterpiece?

It so happened historically that the author of this article has been engaged in creativity for twelve years. And since it happened so, I can vouch without undue modesty that my opinion is worth something. And I insist - this game is a Masterpiece!

She came out in 2017 and did not receive enough attention to herself, went unnoticed. This is unfortunate. I will not beat around the bush and read out my list of why Old Man's Journey deserves to buy it:

  1. The developer approached the storytelling method creatively - the plot of the plot is simple, but the narrative is served in a strictly normalized manner. The author skillfully juggles until the last minutes with the player's attention and expectations. Throughout the game, you will not hear a word from the lips of the characters and you will not read a single line of text, but you will perfectly understand the whole plot.
  2. The work does not break down into components - the general visual, music and plot here support and complement each other. None of these aspects fall out of the narrative. They always set the right tone, competently swinging the player to emotion.
  3. Aftertaste - any significant work of art leaves behind a residue, a kind of emotional trail that may not last for days, or even weeks. Now you have watched your favorite series with a twisted plot, and you felt sad that this is the end. You have read a good book, you managed to fall in love with these characters, in this world, in this story, and it ends; aphorisms and plot twists are still floating around in my head. You've watched a film with a lot of semantic load, and it smoothly settles in your head frame by frame, word by word. With "Old Man's Journey" I also had the impression that I had read something bright and informative.

I met Old Man's Journey at the Steam Summer Sale and never regretted buying this game. As soon as I found out that it is on IOS and Android, I bought it there too. This is the case when you want to buy a game, and not just play it. I wanted to thank the developer for the emotions that I experienced during the passage. As long as such games are released, creativity will never die.

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