There is a particular eloquence to be found in grief, a hollow beauty in the ugliness of pain, and few gifts in life can rival that of being able to simply say goodbye. Regret is an inevitability of living, and life itself offers too few second chances when poor choices are made.
Created by Broken Rules (and when they say “broken rules” they MEAN it; website? Brokenrul.es. Enough said.) with a jaunty, uplifting, and yet haunting musical score provided by Scientific, Old Man’s Journey offers a whimsical, thought-provoking trip through the memories of, you guessed it, an old man. A nod to the Vienna Business Agency for making an Old Man’s Journey possible, as well as website crediting to Stefan Kernjak helped me realize that this wouldn’t simply be a title that promised “A game about life, loss and hope,” but one that would actually deliver.
Old Man’s Journey is a puzzle-adventure game as beautiful and straightforward as its website highlights. Poignant art, melodic tunes, only the words that are necessary, and a charismatic trailer are all there to pull players into its colorful atmosphere. The impression that every single action and visual provided is carefully and strategically thought out is evident, and once gameplay commenced, I for one was not disappointed.
That’s mighty short, yet that’s ok: Old Man’s Journey delivers a lasting sense of calm and relaxation you’ll enjoy long after you’ve finished it. It’s full of inspiring art, music, and imagery, it’s a game free of words in which the protagonist, for his story and his memories, find an open path to somehow become yours.
Take my experience with the opening sequence, for example. Standing with the Old Man upon a cliff, I stared at a beautiful sky splayed out behind a ramshackle yet lovely lighthouse/cottage, the sea gently lapping away in the background. The immersion worked. I felt, had I simply closed my eyes at that moment, that the spray of the sea would have kissed my face, the sun would have warmed my body. And when the old man received a letter from a jovial postman, I grew nervous. Tension filled my body. I didn’t want to know what that letter might contain. That letter that made the Old Man suddenly age.
Windows Mac OS X
OS: Windows XP SP2+
Processor: SSE2 instruction set support
Memory: 1024 MB RAM
Graphics: DX9 (shader model 3.0) or DX11 with feature level 9.3 capabilities
Storage: 2 GB available space