Mundaun – Review
Follow Genre: Horror puzzle adventure
Developer: Hidden Fields
Publisher: MWM Interactive
Platform: PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PC
Tested on: PC

Mundaun – Review

Site Score
9.3
Good: The story and setting are great! The graphics style is really unique
Bad: Puzzles were rather easy to figure out
User Score
9.8
(4 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.8/10 (4 votes cast)

Mundaun is a folklore horror game, set in the Swiss alps. It features beautifully grim hand-drawn textures, which set the tone for this dark puzzle adventure with a classic story in a unique setting. Mundaun was developed by Hidden Fields, and published by MWM Interactive. We were quite ready to see how a deal with the devil would turn out in this amazing horror adventure game.

Story

Mundaun features a classic folklore story about a deal with the devil. It’s set in quite a unique and beautiful setting: high in the Swiss Alps. It feels like you’ve entered a new realm, with the rest of the world hidden beneath the clouds. Time has seemingly stood still for this little rural village up in the mountains.

This story begins with you, a man named Curdin, on a bus, reading a letter about the death of your grandfather. The writer of the letter, a local priest, seems to strongly discourage you from visiting your grandfather’s funeral, since he’s already been buried. As you disembark the bus and start to explore your grandfather’s farm, you quickly discover there are very strange things happening. You’ll find that the grave is empty; you encounter a strange old man in a vision, who curses you with a charred hand but also leads you to the charred remains of your grandfather in his burned-down barn. After that bizarre encounter, you’ll continue to experience the strangest visions and hallucinations, and you’ll be haunted by dangerous creatures lurking in the night.

The story is being told as you explore the farm, and discover and investigate items. The story starts out as a dark but picturesque rural experience, where you’ll be able to pet goats, collect hay, and smoke a pipe in front of your grandfather’s home. However, as you progress, the story starts to get stranger and stranger. Mundaun is really unique, and the story will pull you in and motivate you to keep playing.

Graphics

This game has quite a distinct style! All textures are hand-drawn, with charcoal. The whole game looks like a gritty drawing, with a monochrome color scheme. This really adds to the grim atmosphere of the game!

The UI is simple and accessible. As you collect objects, they’ll be added to your backpack to inspect at your convenience. You’ll also collect hand-drawn maps and pictures in your sketchbook, which will help you find your way, solve puzzles, and unveil more of the story. Your sketchbook also serves as your quest log. Dialogue subtitles and conversation options are displayed in a really nice retro style, fitting for the style of the game.

Sound

Exploring Mundaun will mostly feature atmospheric sounds and the sound effects from your actions, adding to the eerie and desolate atmosphere. However, occasionally you’ll also hear ominous music, especially when strange things are happening around you. There are also several radios you can use within the game, which you can set to different stations to solve puzzles or simply listen to classical music or mystical hymns.

All the dialogue is narrated, and the voice acting is quite good. The language that is spoken by the characters in the game sounds like a mix of German, Italian, and Slavic. We reckon it’s probably a local dialect or language of the unique locale the game is set in.

Gameplay

Mundaun Is a first-person horror adventure game. You’ll investigate the mysterious circumstances under which your grandfather died, and while doing this you’ll re-visit your past, witness historical events, and experience horrific visions and events.

The story is the most important aspect of this game, but it has a lot of fun game mechanics as well, which are integrated properly into the setting and the style of the game. Most of the time you are exploring, searching for clues about what happened in the past in this small village. You’ll find many clues in drawings, both of which you can collect, and those that are hanging on the walls of the buildings you’ll explore. The drawings you collect, often contain hints for puzzles. You’ll keep them in your sketchbook, which also functions as a journal. Collecting sketches and drawings, while the game is hand-drawn as well, is a really nice touch! Whenever you encounter drawings or paintings in the game, it’s worthwhile to view them from up close. Most of the time, they will tell you something about the past, which will be accompanied by fitting audio.

As you explore, you’ll also collect many peculiar and useful objects, like keys, matches, and ingredients to make coffee, but also completely strange things like the severed head of a goat. You’ll place these objects in your backpack and use them whenever you need them, feeling unsure how you’d ever need the goat’s head … until one night it starts talking to you! This game can be truly bizarre at times and will keep surprising you.

The puzzles in the game are usually quite simple to solve. The clues will be obvious or are clearly described in your journal. However, this isn’t a drawback. The puzzles fit well within the setting and don’t slow the story down this way.

While exploring this eerie village, you travel around in the mountains using different kinds of vehicles. This is a fun and interesting addition, offering different game mechanics, and making the game feel so much bigger and the village feel much more realistic. You can also make coffee, eat bread, smoke the pipe you’ll find, and you’ll even be able to use the toilets in the game! In your journal, there are progress bars representing coffee, food, and bullets; filling these will improve your character’s stats. Plus, making coffee, driving around picking up hay and quietly smoking an old pipe while looking out over the fields really adds to the rural atmosphere of this game.

There are monsters you’ll encounter, and you’ll gain some weapons while you’re exploring. However, these weapons are an old rifle, a pitchfork, and matches (which you can use to burn hay – and hay monsters), while the monsters you are fighting are basically immortal supernatural beings. You can hold them off a bit, but generally, the best option is to find shelter as soon as you encounter a monster.

You’ll not be alone while exploring Mundaun! There are several peculiar characters you’ll meet: a frightened priest, an arrogant painter, a creepy mute girl, and a talking goat’s head, to name a few. During conversations, you’ll be able to choose from a few options and ask several questions. Eventually, the ending of the game will be decided by your choices!

Conclusion

Mundaun is an excellent and very atmospheric horror game in a unique setting. It’s a classic folk-tale, but it’s really interesting to learn a bit about this secluded culture, in the context of this game? The style of the graphics is really interesting and fitting to both the story and the atmosphere of the game. The music is not that obviously present, which is actually great to add to the atmosphere. Whenever you do notice ominous music, you realize that things will get bizarre really quickly! Mundaun is a great choice for people who love atmospheric horror games. The puzzles are rather easy, but the story is great and truly unique.

 

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.8/10 (4 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: -1 (from 1 vote)
Mundaun - Review, 9.8 out of 10 based on 4 ratings
Anmaja


I'm a LARP writer, freelance teacher and everlasting PhD student, and an avid gamer. Nowadays I game mostly on PC, but I love my retro playstation 1 & 2 as well :) I like watching anime, movies and series, and read books & comics whenever I have time!

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