Old Man’s Jour­ney

May the road rise to meet you – lit­er­ally

Mac|Life - - APPLE LIFE - Kate Gray

$4.99 From Bro­ken Rules, old­man­sjour­ney.com Made for iPhone, iPad Needs iOS 10.0 or later

Old men. Heart­break. Re­demp­tion… And lots and lots of walk­ing. Th­ese are the main in­gre­di­ents of Old Man’s Jour­ney, a story told through word­less vi­gnettes of one man’s life as he walks across hills, moun­tains and seas to find… some­thing. You are his guide, of sorts, drag­ging the scenery around him to clear the path and help him con­tinue. You can pull up hills to meet his feet, cre­at­ing zig-zags of land­scape, or leave him to pause on an im­mov­able part such as a house, bench, or light­house, as you re­jig the curves of the land to cre­ate a way for­ward – since you can’t move any­thing he’s on.

There’s a lot of fun to be had ma­nip­u­lat­ing the un­du­lat­ing coun­try­side and pulling boats across wa­ter with your fin­ger. It feels re­spon­sive, and gen­tle, as the curves of the hills slide up and down to where you want them. There’s also the calm­ing plea­sure of in­ter­act­ing with small ob­jects in the back­ground, such as win­dow shut­ters, trees, and water­falls, which re­act to your touch in var­i­ous ways. It’s a wellthought out piece of de­sign that doesn’t af­fect the plot in any way, but gives you a lit­tle spark of hap­pi­ness for mak­ing a mark on the game.

The world feels vi­brant and alive, done in a me­morable, gor­geous pas­tel crayon style. It’s clev­erly rem­i­nis­cent of some­thing Mediter­ranean, all soft ter­ra­cotta and azure col­ors, flow­ers climb­ing up the plas­ter of a ho­tel wall, soft clouds scud­ding across a blue, blue sky. The game never ex­plic­itly re­veals where it’s set, but you can imag­ine a Greek coast, a small Ital­ian is­land, or the south of France, sun-faded and lilac-scented.

The small vi­gnettes - the old man’s mem­o­ries - are so per­fectly painted and com­posed that you’ll want to linger on them for as long as pos­si­ble.

Old Man’s Jour­ney can be slow and even a bit frus­trat­ing at times - one sec­tion set on a train par­tic­u­larly so - but it just doesn’t re­ally mat­ter when the story and the view are both heart­warm­ingly, purely good.

the bot­tom line. One of the most beau­ti­ful games we’ve seen in a while, with a story that’ll make you weep.

The use of color in this game is sim­ply beau­ti­ful, go­ing from sun­sets to candy-colored hills.

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