Old Man's Journey, or the journey of an old demiurge

Who I am
Alejandra Rangel
@alejandrarangel
Author and references

There is a moment in life when you feel the need to embark on a journey, and that moment does not necessarily arrive at a stage in which you have the physical skills to deal with it, but that's the beauty of it. When a certain letter is delivered to the old man from Old Man's Journey, the ordinary bearded hero does not hesitate for a moment: he takes his backpack and stick and sets out on a long path that leads him to cross mountains, plains, cities and hills to reach his goal. , without caring too much about the physical condition or the means of transport chosen (in this case, the feet). A bit like in Lynch's A True Story, in which the old Straight crosses Iowa aboard a ride-on mower at an insane speed of 8 kilometers per hour, the protagonist of Old Man's Journey doesn't have too many problems setting out and the world around him proves to reward his determination.



If physical prowess does not enable him to climb mountains and cross difficult obstacles, then the surrounding scenery will bend to his will., allowing him an easy passage towards the mysterious finish line, as if to respect the inexorable pace of his steps by timidly stepping aside. There is a widespread hermeticism in this game and a kind of latent sense of inevitability that collides in a fascinating way with the bright and colorful representation of the beautiful scenery. What is written in the letter received from the old man? Why take the journey? Why, above all, is his path so important that it moves mountains so as not to be interrupted? One would think that these questions are too prosaic to find a clear answer in this story, all we can do is indulge the will of the old man and accompany him on his journey, which becomes a path of life and memory with a powerful symbolic charge.



The old demiurge

Each screen of Old Man's Journey is a small work of art, designed with a light touch and dreamy style, always staging new settings in the path of the old. Each is, in fact, also a single level of the game, which offers puzzles to be solved in every beautiful part of the journey: the aim is to make the protagonist reach a certain goal, modifying the conformation of the environment, lowering hills, creating new ones and trying to align the plane in which the old is located with the place to be reached, according to the fundamental principle of finding the way shorter between two points. It is not always so simple, however: continuing through the levels the puzzles become more layered, and although the form of interaction remains substantially the same, that is, touching and dragging elements of the scenario to modify their structure, further objectives gradually emerge. to complete, such as moving vehicles, getting trains to their destination, moving sheep, clearing the way for other characters or objects around the screen.


The basic mechanics therefore remain the same but the effects of this vary and become more complex and multifaceted. Some uncertainty in the screen tap recording system can break the idyll, making puzzle solving a little frustrating when you can't get things to go exactly as they should, however these are minor flaws. After completing the various puzzles within a screen, the old man often pauses by observing some characters or elements of the scenario, starting memories that essentially tell his story through cutscenes and reveal piece by piece the life of the protagonist and the mystery underlying his journey. These are moments that are also simple but full of meaning, enriched by this particular graphic style that mixes almost impressionist solutions in the use of colors and lights with a naive trait that is perfectly associated with the general atmosphere of the game.


Comment

Tested version iPad 1.2 Digital Delivery Steam, App Store, Google Play Price 5,49 € Resources4Gaming.com

8.8


Readers (4)

7.7


Your vote

It is a strange story that of the old man on the road, able to move mountains, lower hills and give birth to new ones just to get to his destination. Old Man's Journey is hermetic, dreamy, poetic and at times deep and touching. It can be boring in some cases, especially if you are looking for varied action and video game pace in what is a short but slow and contemplative path on various small, large and precious aspects of life. It does not last long and presents game solutions that are not always stimulating and brilliant, yet it is a journey that is worth taking.

PRO

  • A real audio / visual pearl
  • Dreamy and nostalgic like a good picture book
  • Some puzzles are very well structured
AGAINST
  • Repetitive game mechanics
  • Very short
  • Some uncertainty in the control system
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