Game Review: The Deer God
There are times when I reach out to try games with a ‘different‘ concept and it turns out good. Other times, not so good. Crescent Moon Games definitely lept off a cliff in their attempt to stand out. Too bad they lept without a safety net or bungie cord or just plain something to keep this game from feeling… unnecessary.
So, the concept of this game is you are a hunter that is being punished by the Deer God in the midst of a hunting trip. The Deer God then takes the hunter and makes him into a mystical deer. The purpose of doing so is, I guess, to show the hunter the error of his ways. You begin the side scrolling platform game as a fawn. As time passes you are required to find food, avoid obstacles, other mean animals, hunters, and such as you and your accelerated aging take on various… you know what forget it.
Honestly, I have no clue why you are a deer and what you are expected to do. That is supposed to be revealed throughout the course of playing the game. Unfortunately, I couldn’t even last until hour two while playing this game.
“Why?” you ask? Well, friend, I’ll tell you. The Deer God simply doesn’t have that fun factor the beckoned me to continue on the trials of a little deer.
To its credit, there were some interesting elements to this game. The accelerated aging caused you to go from baby deer, to adolescent, to adult deer with antlers. Of course if you die, when you respawn, you will be a fawn again. To gain ‘lives’ and reach a checkpoint, you must find a female deer and mate. Also, you are given powers and consumables at various points that have various benefits and bonuses. Throw in the ability to be ‘good‘ or ‘bad‘ and you have an interesting dynamic that I’m sure affects the story somehow. Of course, you have to care about this journey of redemption for all of that to matter.
As platformers go, these various elements make for few dimensions to the gameplay’s purpose that could add a bit of difficulty to the experience. I did find that jumping around through trees, deserts, and swamps was somewhat challenging without losing a bit of life here and there. The unique 8-bit retro graphics were actually kind of appealing with the clever foreground and background graphics that gave the whole environment an ‘almost‘ 3D feel to it.
Where the whole experience began to lose me was when I was forced to interact with people and carry out ‘missions‘ for them. I’m sorry but having a random deer to usher people back to a church so that the minister could spread the good word is an absolutely blah ‘mission‘. Let’s not even get into how absurd it sounds. I began to cringe as more eye-rolling missions were requested of my deer avatar to the point that I couldn’t stand the endeavor anymore.
Maybe there was a point to this ‘statement‘ game but this gamer felt like the message was mired in ‘work‘ that managed to forget the fun.