If you are among those who consider video games as an expressive medium with great potential, able to convey content, emotions and reflections through a new communication and storytelling system, then you may be very interested in this Mosaic review. Announced back in 2016, this is the new game of Krillbite Studio, creator of the horror game Among the Sleep.
You wake up as a depressed man in a drizzly apartment with furniture that consists of all possible shades of gray. your every day life is a drag and you have issues just getting up and getting ready for work. You have the same routines every day and seeing all those unpaid bills laying around doesn’t make life any better. You also better hurry up as being late for work might get you fired.
That is the whole purpose of Mosaic. One day all this changes and strange things happen that bring a little more color into your life. Suddenly there is a talking fish in the sink and street musicians conjuring up color with their music in the world. The daily routine is broken and you see beauty in life again.
In terms of gameplay, Mosaic is quite repetitive. Every day you have to perform the same actions to get up, go to work and finally go back to sleep. It may be clear that this is not an action-packed game, but rather an experience that can be discovered slowly. As a player you don’t have to do much. You walk to an object and then click on it, that’s all it is. Unfortunately, this also does not work equally well. The main character regularly gets stuck against walls and doors because the camera points are not always correctly adjusted.
There are also some mini-games available. For example, there is a kind of “idle” game (think of Cookie Clicker) present on your smartphone called BlipBlop. There is also a mini-game when you are at work. You must collect resources to achieve a goal. These mini-games are not very challenging, but they do offer some distraction from the loneliness that the main character experiences.
This is precisely an element that Mosaic shines in, the transmission of loneliness. At work you are just a number, everywhere you go you are ignored and everyone is only looking for distractions on his or her smartphone. It may be clear that Mosaic is trying to convey a message to the player. This is clearly more than a game and can be described as a dreamy experience. For example, it could just as well have been a short film.
Mosaic is more than a game and is therefore more suitable for the added value seeker. The game is not afraid to patiently create an atmosphere and then experiment with it. Those looking for brutal action, therefore, have nothing to look for here. Gameplay wise the game has very little to offer, as a player you have little input and walking is not always smooth. The story is quite short and after about four hours you have seen and done everything. That make the current price of around 20$ a bit hefty, but hey maybe that is just part of the bureaucracy that’s found inside the game.
Mosaic is an interesting take on life and depression, but with some camera problems and repetitiveness of the gameplay it may not be for everyone.