The Deer God – Review
Follow Genre: Platformer, puzzles
Developers: Crescent Moon Games, Cinopt Studios
Publisher: Crescent Moon Games
Platforms: Android, Xbox One, PS4, iOS, PC, Linux, Mac OS, tvOS
Tested on: Nintendo Switch

The Deer God – Review

Site Score
6.5
Good: Beautiful graphics, fun concept
Bad: Glitches and bugs, no explanation whatsoever
User Score
6.5
(2 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 6.5/10 (2 votes cast)

Hunting has been around from the beginning of mankind as food was a necessity to survive. Thanks to evolution and technology, more ways to produce food were found and although they might not always be that orthodox, hunting became less important. Of course, there are still people that hunt for sports and this is what’s happening in ‘The Deer God’. Are you ready to dive into the world of animals and survival?

The Deer God Logo

Story

Everything started off rather peacefully. Two hunters were camping in the woods, getting ready to sleep. Thanks to fate, one of them spots a magnificent buck but the hunter will soon become prey himself with wolves lurking nearby. Nonetheless, before the hunter’s demise he was able to get out a shot at the buck, but another animal jumped in front to save the deer. Upon the unnamed hunter’s dying breath, he appears before the Deer God. The now tiny human must pay for all the pain he and other hunters have inflicted. He is reincarnated as a fawn and must survive in this cruel world. He has to find ten different statues of deer that contain a bit of power from the Deer God. This is where your story begins.

The biggest chunk of the narrative is given at the start of the game and you get some bits and pieces when you meet other key characters in the game. As you’re bound to an animal-like form, you can’t talk to humans anymore as you’ve become prey yourself. The story does trigger you to continue in this adventure, although this might become rather troublesome gameplay-wise.

The Deer God

Graphics

You’ll be treated to retro graphics as all is pixelated. You can determine several shapes with specific characteristics, although it is hard to see at the start if the other animals are friend or foe. Keeping track which blob of pixels will attack you is a good idea as it might be game over rather soon. There are several areas you have to go through to achieve your goal, some which actually might feel rather repetitive as you have to jump over that same gap yet again. Even so, each other area has a different color scheme and theme so it’s really lively as you will venture a more barren landscape or even snowy parts. The change of colors might seem a bit too abrupt but at least you know that you’ll entering a new area. At any rate, the combination of the different elements make it a really beautiful game.

Sound

As you’re venturing through several outdoor zones and the fact that you’re an animal makes the possible choice of music rather small. No thumping beats or hard rock solos in this game but gentle, soothing tracks that might let you think you’re on a vacation but less is true. There are a bunch of sound effects that will help you determine if danger is lurking, as for instance the predators howl or let out quite a fierce growl to initiate the attack. Don’t expect a lot of different or fancy effects though, as everything was kept low-key.

The Deer God

Gameplay

The Deer God is a 2D platformer with quite some puzzles and side-quests you can try to complete. Your main goal is to survive as long as possible and obtain all of the skills so you can complete this mission that has been given to you. At the beginning, you only have a double jump for you to help you across all the gaps and spikes, while you can also ram into other critters or predators. Some of them are friendly while others will try to kill you. By killing, you gain good or bad rep. This means you can grow to a good deer or to a dark one. In the end, this doesn’t seem to have any influence on the outcome of the game whatsoever.

Growing up is done by surviving several days, so you have to conquer the night and get through the day. You will have to learn how to take care of yourself. First, you have your health bar and when this one is empty, you will die. Normally you can respawn although sometimes you respawn as another animal which will lead to your demise yet again. Why this is happening is unclear as there is almost no information when you start the game and it mainly remains like that for the rest of the run. The second parameter you need to check is your food level. Running around takes its toll so you need to feed yourself regularly. Sometimes there isn’t any food so you just have to keep going until you can feast yet again. An empty bar doesn’t mean that it’s immediately game over, but your health will deteriorate over time. Finally, there is the stamina bar that indicates how many moves you can still do before running out of stamina and leaving you defenseless. The latter regenerates over time.

The Deer God

Learning new skills is rather important but you will have to solve some puzzles before actually obtaining them. This is where the fun starts, as the game still has quite a lot of bugs and glitches that might sabotage your experience (although it was already released on a plethora of platforms, we feel that this is clear negligence). Don’t worry as you can just go back to a previous ‘world’ and return to this location as it resets, but this also means that you might get hungry thus getting yourself into danger. For instance, it happened that the key element for a puzzle, which were two rabbits, didn’t go to the designated location and didn’t trigger the necessary switch. Of course, you can only stand there and wait, but this isn’t how it’s supposed to go. Also, if you didn’t push the stone far enough, the rabbit went in the wrong direction, meaning that you had to reset yet again. Best of all, there was even a time that the stone was on the rabbit…

When you eventually get your skill, this is linked to a certain horn of your antler. If you die and get respawned as a fawn, you only have access of the skills on the first layer. Upon growing, you will be able to select higher-level skills. These skills must be assigned to a slot which you can toggle. It seems that, even though you were a ‘level 1’ fawn, you are still able to use the higher skills if you have them equipped in those slots. This kind of rigs the system, which would have been a nice extra difficulty if executed correctly. To use these skills, you must have enough stamina available. There are other abilities that are always available, like a more powerful attack. Before these new powers are granted, you have to find elder deer and complete a task, so you’ll just have to continue your journey and you’ll get them eventually.

The Deer God

It seems that deer have secret pockets as you can take several items with you. Some of them can help you during your travels, so keep an eye on them. Also, sometimes you will see a skull floating somewhere. Be sure to pick these up as these act as an instant revive so you start over as a fawn. If you think that you just can memorise the map and special locations, think again. When you start a new game, the map gets shuffled so it’s a fresh start for everyone.

Conclusion

If you like to dive into a world filled with vicious animals and traps while struggling to survive, be sure to check The Deer God. Although this game has been released on a lot of platforms already, there are still a lot of bugs or glitches that will have its effect on how long you’ll play the game. The graphics are beautiful, the music is nice and the combination of both will take you back to the good ol’ days.

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Rating: 6.5/10 (2 votes cast)
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The Deer God - Review, 6.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
Chun-Li
Chun-Li


Faster than lightning

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