Old Man’s Journey is a short and unique point-and-click adventure game from the independent game studio Broken Rules, based in Vienna, Austria. They have made a game about life experiences, and everything that entails – love, happiness, regret, and reconciliation.
We follow an old man who lives in a beautiful house out by the sea. The game starts off with him receiving a letter, with the content left to be revealed at the end. As he gathers his backpack and walking cane, we join the old man as he ventures out on a journey through land and sea.
There are 15 different levels, or scenarios, in the game. Upon finishing each one, the man sits down on a nearby bench and scratches his white beard, pondering and re-exploring his past. With each memory, we collect more and more pieces of the story.
The level design of the game should be given high praise. Each level represents a different memory in the old man’s life, telling us where he has been and where he might be going. This way, we slowly progress through the old man’s life experiences up to the present.
The environment plays a huge role in the aspect of gameplay. In order to help the old man on his journey, the player has to manipulate the terrain around him, which I think is quite unique. Each level contains puzzles where you have to twist your brain a little, but never so much that it hurts. It never gets too challenging. Many might see that as a negative, but I rather enjoyed sailing through without much difficulty in a game like this: it is, after all, an atmospheric casual game.
This game lives and breathes for the aesthetics. The memories look painted with watercolors, letting you experience art in a beautiful way – I feel like I’m walking through different paintings. With beautiful ambience such as the sounds of the ocean or the wind through the mountains, and simple yet gorgeous music with a present guitar and accordion, Old Man’s Journey provides a symphony for your eyes and ears. Putting on headphones and immersing yourself in the music and sounds when playing this is highly recommended. (THIS GAME IS GORGEOUS).
Amidst all the wonderfulness of the game, I encountered a few bugs where I had to restart some of the levels over again. This became all the more bothersome when I was right at the end of said levels. Along with a few graphic bugs as well, I felt that it broke up the flow of the game, which was fairly annoying when I’m in a meditative state of serenity.
I feel like I should also give a fair warning that Old Man’s Journey has little to no replay value. There’s no extra puzzles to solve, for example. When you figure out the ending to the story… it ends. Maybe that’s a message about life. Still, it would have been nice to have something else to do afterwards. That being said, the game is roughly 2-hours long, so it’s clear that the developers have created something to be played in one sitting, as there is no manual save function either.
Old Man’s Journey is a short and delicate game with a touching story. The music is simple, yet beautiful. Combined with an impressive art style and unique gameplay, Broken Rules has created a powerful piece of expression. I suggest you visit the Steam page while I dry my tears.