#Mortal Meal is a melancholic slice of Haunted PS1 – Destructoid

Mortal Meal is a melancholic slice of Haunted PS1 – Destructoid

Unhappy horror? Distress?

When you’re like me, you take pleasure in your horror finest when it’s unhappy. Video video games can’t actually scare me anymore, however gosh, they certain can get me depressed. Not that it’s tough. A contented reminiscence can depress me.

Anyway, a portion of Mortal Meal was featured on the Haunted PS1 Demo Disc: Spectral Mall compilation that was launched again in 2022. The Haunted PS1 Demo Disc is type of a nexus for experimental, lo-fi horror, and someway I’m not on their mailing record. Fortunately, it normally passes my radar finally.

Mortal Meal is maybe a direct tackle the style, being largely a strolling simulator. It’s additionally not terribly scary, however then, how would I do know? It’s extra centered on telling a melancholic narrative whereas weaving in a little bit of levity and a few improbable horror imagery.

Mortal Meal Vomit Wall
Picture through Goblin Council

Sounds homosexual. I’m in.

You’re useless. A great boy is operating round along with your disembodied coronary heart, and your ghost rises from that. An enormous a part of Mortal Meal is determining who you had been and why you’re useless. To take action, you begin off by following the path of blood again to your corpse.

I’m probably not certain how a lot to present away by way of the plot. The headline offered to me was a “homosexual romance story wrapped up in a horror recreation,” so I can not less than say that. Which is sweet. Homosexual romance is never approached in the identical means as, say, lesbian romance, so it’s good to see the orientation approached in the best way of Mortal Meal. The homosexual half isn’t as central because the romance. It’s simply romance with two dudes, is what I’m saying.

The place Mortal Meal succeeds finest is presenting a thriller. A lot of the sport is determining first who you’re, who this different man is, and what all this has to do along with your dying.

Reuse of Property

Mortal Meal makes nice use of its lo-fi aesthetic. The world regularly shifts right into a extra surreal, nightmarish model of itself. Not solely does this add some mild gameplay that strikes a bit exterior the strolling simulator framework, but it surely reveals off some nice – and I can’t consider I’m saying this – reuse of property. Look, the asset pipeline is normally a bottleneck for indie video games, and seeing one that may make cool-looking ranges by reusing current property in attention-grabbing methods; it’s form of thrilling to me for some motive. It feels just like the soul of small improvement. You all the time hear tales about how, like, the deku stick texture in Ocarina of Time is Hyperlink’s hair texture stretched out, and that’s simply neat.

However the nightmarish transformations the world takes are additionally fairly cool. One half that caught out to me was the total moon turning into an eyeball that glances round. Spooky. You’re additionally regularly pursued by a monster that eats ghosts. It has this patchwork texture over a skeleton on it, and that’s lo-fi gold proper there.

Mortal Meal does stumble a bit with the pacing. The thriller will get solved fairly a methods earlier than the top, and the remainder is a bit of flat. You’re given three targets to get via on the finish, and one in every of them is breaking right into a grocery retailer. It offers you a collection of 5 puzzles – about three puzzles too many – after which the spirit assaults you. Then the following two targets are primarily completed by going and getting one thing.

It does, nevertheless, have a second the place you cook dinner soup, and I’m not kidding once I say that’s improbable.

Lofi Computer Store
Picture through Goblin Council

Soup’s on

One other unlucky draw back to Mortal Meal is that it’s $14. That’s not an enormous quantity, however the recreation clocks in at about an hour lengthy. There are different comparable lo-fi horror video games which can be longer and value across the similar quantity. Possibly just a few {dollars} isn’t price getting upset about, but it surely’s price noting.

Alternatively, Mortal Meal has bizarre extra replay worth via unlockable modifiers which can be speckled all through the world. Once more, price holding in thoughts.

Value apart, nevertheless, Mortal Meal is a worthwhile little expertise. It’s most profitable relating to aesthetics, however its narrative and gameplay are completely serviceable. I feel Goblin Council is a developer that would profit from a price range as a result of even with this comparatively small manufacturing, they’ve proven off appreciable chops.


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