The Magnificent Trufflepigs – Review
Follow Genre: Walking simulator, Narrative
Developer: Thunkd
Publishers: AMC
Platforms: Switch, PC
Tested on: PC

The Magnificent Trufflepigs – Review

Site Score
7.0
Good: Entertaining story, beautiful visuals
Bad: Repetitive gameplay and sluggish pace
User Score
10.0
(1 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Walking simulators are an interesting bunch as these are games mostly consisting of seeing a story unfold while enjoying the vistas with the occasional puzzle or simple minigame. The Magnificent Trufflepigs is one of such games, with a main gimmick centered on finding varied trinkets related to the story with a metal detector.

Story

The Magnificent Trufflepigs’ story revolves around a pair of friends, Beth and Adam, reuniting after a long time apart. This meet-up is brought upon by Beth, who is attempting to finally locate the partner earring to the one she found during her childhood, before the farm where she found the first one is sold off and demolished.

As the story unfolds, players will learn more about the protagonists’ relationship and their personalities, with Beth slowly opening up about her current situation and why she decided to call Adam after so many years. Although at points the game plays with the idea that the pair’s relationship might be more than a friendship. Nonetheless, these winks at a possible romance never become more than that, focusing instead on Beth’s feelings about her life.

While the story is generally enjoyable, the characters are arguably not the easiest to sympathize with. Throughout the game, it is made very clear Beth is supposed to be the main focus of the story, but her rather well-off position makes some of her problems seem like mere trifles.

Note: Under the review, we’ll discuss another part of the story, which involves spoilers. Don’t worry, we’ll mark this segment with a spoiler warning.

Graphics

One of the game’s strongest points is its visual style. The game is made in a delightful 3D style which is let down by the surprisingly small size of the explorable areas. While players will be able to see plenty of different landmarks on the horizon, such as wind turbines, ruins or a village, none of these will ever be seen up close. Instead, the game restrains players to a few set fields where they may use their metal detectors, limiting the interaction with these landmarks to merely snapping pictures of them when the game allows you to do so. Adding insult to injury, it is surprisingly easy to miss most of these, taking into account how much of the game players will spend staring at the ground.

It is also worth mentioning the game does quite glaringly go with the budget option for several things, such as making the entirety of the tools employed float in mid-air or featuring some incredibly simple animations. To add to this, the lighting often does not match up with the sun’s angle or the passing clouds, making the somewhat dynamic lighting a stretch.

Sound

Similar to the graphics, The Magnificent Trufflepigs’ sound design is also generally quite good, boasting decent background music and SFX, although what makes it truly shine is the voice acting. Said voice acting is clearly professional, with actors capable of conveying emotions while keeping the game realistic. That said, both voice actors have regional British accents, which may be an issue for some, although it’d arguably be nitpicking if so.

Gameplay

As previously stated, The Magnificent Trufflepigs is a walking simulator with a main mechanic focused on metal detection. This mechanic is delivered by what amounts to the classic childhood game of Hot and Cold, with the detector beeping louder the closer to a buried item one may be, alongside a radar indicating the direction.

Once on top of an item, players will have to go through a sequence of button inputs, always consisting of one Q and three Es. After digging up the item, a prompt to take a photograph and send it to Beth will appear, allowing players to rotate the item for it. Depending on the object found, more often than not Beth and Adam will exchange some banter about it, regardless of how relevant it may be, which brings us to the main issue with the game.

During these banter sections, players will be stripped of their ability to continue looking for new items. Instead, they will have to wait until the conversation is over in order to continue actually playing the game. While this is not a problem for interesting or story-relevant objects, it very much is for irrelevant ones such as screws or rusted bike pedals. Those irrelevant conversations about negligible items simply cut the flow of the game to add unnecessary quips which could be dealt with in a few text messages, which the game actually does from time to time.

Other than the metal detecting, the game doesn’t have any more actual gameplay, except for the already mentioned ability to sometimes photograph landmarks. Even the little gameplay the game features is rather drab and repetitive, made even worse by the sluggish pace at which Adam moves through the scene while using the metal detector. Funnily enough, during the conversation segments, Adam drops the metal detector, making it possible for players walk away from it while listening to the conversation and having to backtrack, only further encouraging doing nothing in these sections.

Conclusion

The Magnificent Trufflepigs is a very short narrative game with an entertaining story which may not appeal to all players. Those looking for a game to relax and kill two ( three at most) hours with, will find what they’re looking for here. It should be noted that players expecting an experience akin to Firewatch or Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture will likely be left disappointed by the length and simplicity of the game and its story. While at a price point of £9.29/€9,99/$11.99 the game isn’t expensive, it is probably a good idea to wait for a sale.

Personal Opinion

“I didn’t dislike The Magnificent Trufflepigs or its story. As simple as it was, it was still enjoyable going in with no expectations. I do agree with some reviews in the Steam page that Beth is not the most enjoyable of characters, but she wasn’t aggravating or annoying in the slightest. At most I found her issues relatable but on a “first world problems” kind of way. What I found incredibly funny was how some of the people who played the game failed to realize what was hinted around the game’s halfway mark. As mentioned before, spoilers are ahead.

SPOILERS AHEAD

At a certain point in the game, it is heavily implied that Adam is just a figment of Beth’s imagination which she uses to project and deal with her issues. This very much changes the story and puts into perspective that Beth isn’t simply being mean to her friend and deluding herself, but rather coming to terms with the recent events in her life. If this take is the actual intended meaning, it is in my opinion poorly handled due to the ludo-narrative dissonance it causes (has Beth been the one finding all of the stuff Adam has all along?), but makes the story and Beth’s character much more enjoyable. The other option, Adam being real, would arguably make him a poor sod pining for a girl he hasn’t seen since his teen years and willing to be used as moral support before being dumped until the next mental breakdown.”

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
The Magnificent Trufflepigs - Review, 10.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

No Comments

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.