Recently I was lucky enough to receive a copy of the game Munin to review. Munin is a platformer from Gojira available now on Steam.
Munin (sometimes spelled Muninn) in mythology is one of the Norse god Odin’s two pet ravens. Munin and Huginn show up all over literature and games (we had a run in with the pair in The Secret World). In this game, Loki turns Munin human and takes her wings. She is off in search of her lost feathers which have been scattered across the nine realms.
The game’s mechanic is very simple–each panel of the screen rotates. If you’re standing on it, it won’t rotate. That’s it. The game designers have taken that one mechanic and turned it into a puzzle game that is more fun than many I’ve played recently and less frustrating, too (I’m looking at you, Braid). Less frustrating does not mean there’s no challenge, though. Feathers scattered all over the screen are yours for the taking, as long as you can figure out the mechanic that will get you there. At first it’s easy, but things progress quickly as the game adds fire, spikes, vines, rolling boulders, lava and water that all want you to die horribly.
The artwork and music in the game is very pretty. I’m working on Jotunheim now while Frost Giants wander around in the background. I like the Norse theme, it adds a small story element and lends itself to drawings of complicated knots, runic lettering and beautiful, lush backgrounds.
As far as I’ve played, there’s only one character and she is female, which is always refreshing. I do find myself longing for a stronger story element to the game. I always like games better when I’m invested in the characters and since I don’t witness Munin being turned human or experience her thoughts on her situation, I feel disconnected from her. I have to guess at her personality through silent boulder pushing and a soft, disappointed sigh when she dies (in an explosion of feathers. Very dramatic.)
In all, Munin is one of those games I’ll put down and pick up when I have a bit of free time. I don’t feel compelled to complete it right now, but there’s 77 levels to explore when I’m supposed to be doing my taxes. Check it out on Steam here.
(Images: my screenshots from the game Munin by Gojira)