Thrilling Review of Mundaun: A Hand-Drawn Horror Game

The horror category is making a name for itself in the industry of gaming. A lot of games have emerged under this genre. With today’s technology, playing horror games offers immersion and dynamics based on the player’s choices.

If you’re searching for a horror game that will give chills to your bone and a good jump scare, you might want to check out Mundaun.

Game Plot Overview

Mundaun, released in March 2021, is a first-person horror game set in the darker region of the Swiss Alps. The story revolves around the main player Curdin (you), who went back to the titular place after receiving a note from the priest. He is there to learn about how his retired soldier grandfather met his unforeseen demise. As he makes his way through, he begins to realize that he is in for more than just answers.

Upon his arrival, he sees an easel with a sketch of a village. The longer he looks, he realizes that the sketch is alive, and he is absorbed into it. This sketch is a portal to another dimension of the same place. He finds himself in the same spot at night, and he looks to a man from afar who is painting the burning place that he can also see happening.

Being drawn to the fire, Curdin makes a step towards the burning building and hears a scream for help, only to find out that it was not. He is greeted by an odd older man claiming to be an acquaintance of his grandfather. Curdin can sense that something is not right and that he is not at ease with this man.

This man grabs him by the hand, and Curdin begs to be set free. He was given that wish, but only after the man touches Curdin’s hand, which started to burn.

The screen turns pitch black, and the next thing that appears is Curdin beside his grandfather’s burnt body. He locates a pipe that prompts him to begin his search for clues, starting with the priest who wrote the letter. The priest tells him that the body was not recovered from the building since the place was under a curse. As he searches for more clues and answers, he finds a mute girl who helps him on his journey by giving out directions and guidance.

The story culminates in unrest. The place itself is rather desolate; the citizens are not your typical friendly neighbors; instead, they act a little “off.” The atmosphere is somewhat heavy as it is being hovered over by an evil element. Curdin tries to search for clues on how his grandfather’s past is connected to the region’s darkness. Not only that, he will soon find out hidden stories that will unravel the truth about the village.

Gameplay

The central theme of the game is problem-solving. Most of the clues are obtained by locating keys to open doors and solving puzzles. Your critical and abstract thinking will surely be put to the test to look for answers. There are also noted scavenger hunts and some looting done. The things or clues found by the main player are then put into a sketchbook (which is alive, by the way) which serves as your “inventory.”

The storyline is rather inviting, drawing the attention of those seeking thrill and Nancy Drew types of gaming. As soon as you start playing this, you will find yourself immersed in its atmosphere, which gives a different level of gaming experience. It does not try to surpass the soaring horror games of all time; its story is direct, which works to its advantage. It lessens player confusion or conflicting emotions that are often brought by combining problem-solving and psychological decrypting.

Gameplay-wise, Mundaun still has a lot to improve on, but it still does not disappoint. While its main focus is on problem-solving and scavenger hunt, it has softcore combat and gunplay, which you might have inconsistencies with. You can either face the enemies head-on or use stealth; either way, you will still arrive at the same resolutions if you’re successful. Another thing is that in terms of objectives, they are generally laid out; meaning, you might find yourself wondering what to do or how to do something because the game is not progressing specifically. There are many keys in Mundaun, but not enough descriptions (their size, what they can open and whatnot).

Atmosphere

The gamechanger of Mundaun is its graphics. Everything was well thought of. Every texture is delicately drawn to exude horror. The developers said that the reason behind the overall look of the game is that everything is pencil-drawn. It is not a typical technique that most horror game developers would go for since the more real-looking, the better; however, the sketch-look of Mundaun is the main factor that brings chills to gamers.

Since everything is pencil-drawn, some rough edges on the overall look give an additional horror vibe. You will see some objects and faces throughout the game, and you’ll notice that the more you stare, the creepier they get. Absolute chills. There are some, though, who do not appreciate this feature. If you’re the kind of person who is always after the realism of objects, this game will not provide it.

Platform

This game is available on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X/S, One and Switch.

Final Words

Overall, Mundaun is interesting gameplay for horror fans. It brings out a new experience through the number of details put into the creation of it. Its pencil-drawn effects are what mainly contribute to its eeriness. Mundaun has a simple and direct storyline lessening conflicting feelings for players. The central theme revolves around problem-solving, so critical thinking is going to be used.

As for the gameplay, Mundaun has a long way to go. It still has a couple of inconsistencies here and there, especially in combat and stealth, but the story plays a great role in getting players hooked. Not many jumpscares on this one, but it will still have you shouting at one point since these horror prompts are placed strategically and effectively throughout the gameplay.

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