Modern society can sometimes be miserable, and no game understands those circumstances like Mosaic. While playing through this simple adventure game with node-based minor puzzles, I found myself becoming more aware of my own redundant life, mixing that relatable narrative with simple gameplay and delightful graphics, and you have the makings of a masterpiece.
Mosaic follows a nameless office worker, who is struggling to get by while working at his dead-end desk job. You follow this individual as he goes to work, comes home, sleep, and repeats. But one day he meets a talking fish in his sink who makes him question his existence and causes this man to pay more attention to different little things such as street musicians and nature. These interactions slowly cause the protagonist to realize that there is more to life sometimes than going to work or sitting in front of screens. While not an overly complex lesson, I found the way the creators presented this to be very compelling and had a deep effect on my own perspective.
While simple, gameplay is broken down into three basic segments, walking around, screwing around on your cell phone, and going to work. Walking around is pretty self-explanatory, with the slight change that you will have the choice to take the fish with you to work, or even play as a butterfly in what’s one of my favorite moments. You will also be able to play around on your cell phone, which not only has a game called BlipBlop, but there is also a bank, stock, news, and dating app, which are also great insights into the world and the protagonist in general. Then there are the segments where you go to your desk job and perform the duties of your employment. These instances consist of connecting different nodes until they reach an endpoint, which feels like work since you are under-resourced and overwhelmed with the amount of productivity demanded of you. While a little too direct about modern society, these elements do a great job of melding seamlessly into the plot.
Graphically, this game has a simplistic 3D art style that kinda looks like it could be an upscaled title from the 90s, but I think it works quite well with the message that the development team was trying to get across. This is shown by recycling character models and structures to show that people are just cogs in the machine and that modern life can be dreary sometimes. But where this art style truly succeeds is in the moments where you are dragged into the more brightly colored sections such as parks and some dream segments. These parts just consist of vibrant colors and character designs, which contrast with the dull office attire of the office worker. I was truly amazed by how they used these two contrasting tones in such a way that it allows you to really appreciate the more vibrant moments when you are given the opportunity to enjoy them.
At the end of the day, Mosaic is a piece of art that gives the player a blunt, but unique perspective into woes and triumphs of modern life. With a straightforward narrative, fluid gameplay, and fitting graphics. I can honestly say that I walked away from this great experience thinking about my own life, and I think this might be a great game for you to play if you need an outlet for your struggle with modernity.
Review: Mosaic (Nintendo Switch)
Mosaic is a wonderful title that does an impressive job of showing the downsides of modern society. While light on gameplay, there is a lot going on in the narrative through repetitive segments, dreary scenery, and a magical fish. This is a game for the person who does not know how to cope with the bland nature of the modern world.