PUBLISHER: Daedalic Entertainment
GENRE: 2D Platform Puzzler
CURRENT PRICE: $7.49 (Reg. $9.99)
RELEASE DATE: June 10, 2014
Munin is another one of those small studio indie games that I had never heard of until I was contacted with an offer of a redeem key for the game on Steam. Of course, when the keywords “indie,” “platformer,” and “puzzler” were used to describe the game, I was immediately intrigued. A quick skimming of the game’s product page on Steam only solidified my interest in playing it and giving it a fair review.
The basic premise of the game is that Munin, beloved messenger to Odin, has been cursed and stripped of her wings and transformed into a human girl by the god Loki. As a result, Munin, determined to return to her former glory, must traverse nine worlds of Yggdrasil to reclaim her lost feathers and return to Asgard.
The first things I noticed about the game, without even getting too much into the gameplay, was the unique, hand-drawn art style and the very relaxing, yet very fitting musical score. The music that Gojira put into the game has a very calming and soothing effect, creating an overall atmosphere of relaxation while you play the game. The art style is well-done, colorful, and yet reserved, adding to this calming effect. The landscapes you will traverse are varied and different, interesting, and yet not jarring. Overall, this creates an atmosphere whereby the game challenges your wits and senses, but works to keep you relaxed and in a good mood.
At its core, Munin is more than a simple platforming puzzle game. Each area you explore has feathers that you need to collect in order to move on, and while some are easily within reach, others require a lot of thought and quick maneuvering to get to. Yet, Munin herself has a special ability that really makes this game stand out: At will, she can rotate different parts of the environment 90 degrees at a time. In the screenshot above, for example, rotating the middle area twice will put the bridge over the gap and allow the player to collect the feather. Then, rotating it back to the original position while on the other side will make the feather in that part accessible. And, what starts out rather simplistically as in the picture above quickly becomes more and more complex, requiring rotating multiple parts as if pieces in a large jigsaw puzzle to allow access to special areas, sometimes even requiring you to rotate an area mid-jump or fall to change platforms so that you can access them.
A good thing about the game is that the designers were not cruel with their layouts, and in an effort of fairness, the difficulty is simply ramped up as gameplay continues, the player being introduced to new and different challenges gradually so that nothing comes as a jarring, horrible surprise. Thus, the game is well-balanced and accessible to novices and experts alike.
This review may be a bit short, yet it speaks of the simplicity of the game it covers. Ultimately, I have nothing negative to say about this game. The difficulty is balanced, the graphics are nice and pleasing to look at, the music is calm and soothing, and the gameplay is pretty much spot on. The story is rather simplistic and kept to a minimum, and a bit more lore could have been nice, but ultimately they put in just enough to keep you playing.
The game features 77 levels to traverse and is estimated to take around 7 hours to complete by the game’s designers, so for the regular asking price of $9.99, this seems like a pretty good deal to me.
FINAL SCORE: A-