Game Review: The Deer God

Release date: 2015
Version played: Xbox One in 2015

Developed by Crescent Moon Games, The Deer God is a 2015 side-scrolling “retro”/platformer/puzzle game, where players will take form of a newborn fawn, as punishment for their human sins. Don’t focus too much on the plot (because the game sure doesn’t! Zing!), but just know that it is one of those indie-pixel platformers with a weird premise. I downloaded this for free back in Septembers’ Games With Gold promotion on Xbox One.

+ perhaps most importantly, the gameplay is smooth and simple-to-learn-hard-to-master. There are no issues running and jumping, and even perhaps using some special abilities you’ll be given, but learning the best time and way to use these is where it can get tricky but rewarding
+ the cyclical nature of the various enviroments was enjoyable, and though they were (literally) the same thing, it never got boring or noticably repetitive
+ the background music and various sound effects were haunting, and really added to the grim tone ofo the game (at first). Once you get used to your surroundings, so to speak, the music becomes more upbeat and/or aggressive, depending on your play style

– personally, I’m not a fan of this sort of pixel graphics. I think more often than not I perceive it as laziness, rather than ‘retro’. The backgrounds were pretty, but I found the character to models to be particularly unappealing
– I’m not gonna lie, I didn’t really know what was going on for the majority of the game. The game doesn’t rely on conventional story telling techniques, which was kind of confusing (the game doesn’t need a hugely intricate story, however

> for a university course a few years ago, we were instructed to play a game called Passage (free to download here), which is similar in many ways to The Deer God. I completely recommend it, and it won’t take more than ten minutes of your time to play (though I guarantee you’ll remember it forever)

Should you play this game: From start to finish, this game took me about two hours, so I can’t recommend it based on length. It is not particularly groundbreaking in either the platformer or puzzle genre, and the plot is almost nonexistent. But there was just something about it that made me enjoy it. You’ll keep your decisions in your mind after you finish, and if you’re anything like me, you’ll want to reply it, just to see what you may have missed the first time. Give it a go.

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