PC, iOS & Android, XBONE
Crescent Moon Games
I downloaded The Deer God while it was free during Xbox Live’s Games with Gold special, without having seen any real previews or reviews. From the art, I expected a sort of platformer, and it is that in some regards, but more than that, The Deer God is a puzzle game.
The Deer God opens with a scene of a hunter, clad in plaid and a hat, sitting at a camp fire and finishing his beer.The Deer God opens with a scene of a hunter, clad in plaid and a hat, sitting at a camp fire and finishing his beer. The Hunter spots a buck in the distance, and just as he’s about to take a shot, ends up dying himself. His bullet goes wild, hitting a doe instead of the intended buck, and with that he finds himself in front of the Deer God. We don’t know if The Hunter is bad or good, there’s nothing in the brief story that let’s me know whether he was poaching, or if he was simply hunting to provide food for his family. We only know his sins are grave in the eyes of the Deer God, and he’s sentenced to being resurrected as a deer to pay for his sins.
It was hard to both solve problems and dodge random attacks. I quickly grew tired of dying as I was trying to spot the next objective.With that, you as the player begin the game as a baby deer and start running right, avoiding obstacles and predators, growing up and mating with does to produce little baby deer of your own, and solving people’s problems…Because atonement, I guess? Any human who needs help will ask you to find something for them, and you continue to cycle through the world until you solve that person’s problem and can “move on”.
I found myself a little frustrated with that aspect of the game. It was hard to both solve problems and dodge random attacks. I quickly grew tired of dying as I was trying to spot the next objective. The world is beautiful to cycle through, there’s a constant streaming landscape of desert, snow, lush forest, or ice, but there was an extra sense of urgency to everything as I couldn’t progress until I solved that next puzzle. The music was gorgeous, with its soft tones it was something that I could really gain a sense of zen from. However, the combination of puzzle solving and platforming at the same time took me out of that calm enjoyment.
Typically, I would enjoy this style of game aesthetically…I may still give it a chance here or there, but the gameplay wasn’t fun for me. Instead of admiring the beautiful world the game maker had created, I just found myself wanting to get out of it as soon as possible. However, if a puzzle game is totally your bag, I’d recommend it. It’s not a bad game, it’s just a bad game for me.
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