Publisher: Raw Fury
Genre: Narrative Driven Adventure Game
Official Site: https://www.mosaiccorp.biz/
Release Date: Dec. 5th 2019
Version Tested: PC
Mosaic by Krillbite Studio feels both familiar and foreign. It resembles titles such as Inside and Limbo. A title soaked shrouded in darkness, with metaphors and underlying themes. Despite the similarities, Mosaic stands as a unique game all on its own. The heavy focus above all features is the story. The gameplay is light, with the story doing its best to wrap you up in a world that feels in some ways, familiar to real life or, at the very least, the potential to.
Mosaic Makes you Feel Dreariness
From the moment you start a new game, you feel it in the air (so to speak). Dreary. Everything feels and looks dark, sad. The bedroom that your character sleeps in looks similar to the rest of the house. Bare, cold, and uninviting. The home is devoid of color, of anything that resembles happiness. It’s as if someone had just moved in with only the bare essentials and didn’t bother to put up a single house decoration or something they loved. It’s not the case, though, and you can tell that the home has been lived in for plenty of time. Clothes along the floor. A bare fridge except for what looks like “cheese meals,” whatever that means. Even the living room seems devoid of life, holding only a couch and a television. Everything about the apartment sets the tone for the rest of the world.
To make your world feel somehow more stuffy, your character is wearing what looks to be work clothes — the most uncomfortable of bed attire. A white dress shirt, a tie, and what I can only assume are dress pants. To begin, you are supposed to make your character rise by merely clicking and swiping in a rising motion out of bed. Ironically the alarm goes off after your character opens his eyes. Your phone is simple enough. There are messages, news, and a game called Blip-Blop. Throughout your playthrough, you’ll receive messages from various people. You can’t respond to anyone; this somehow adds to the feeling of discomfort Mosaic gives off.
Everything, Including the Mundane, Feels Deliberate
I recommend reading the news before doing anything else. It’s not a necessity, nor will it hinder your gameplay. Still, it will give you a glimpse into just how this world operates. What it considers relevant and how it sees “individuals” like yourself. Personally, after I read the news, the second thing I did before getting my character out of bed, was Blip-Blop. It’s a game on your phone, sounds familiar, right? It’s as simple as can be. Literally, the entire game is you clicking a button. For doing so, you get points, which you can then upgrade how many points you get per click. Other than achievements, this seems to be another addition into how…. Pointless this world feels. That is not a negative connotation; make no mistake; everything about Mosaic is well thought out and intentional.
Throughout your play, you’ll rise each new morning with the same routine. Wake up your character, turn off the alarm, straighten your tie, and fix your hair. Finish this off with brushing your teeth and then go to work. You’ll guide your character to his mundane job; every motion and action is done by clicking. Each scene and area perfectly matched by music that fits like a glove. Walking will be done by click and holding in the direction. This is over half the gameplay. Mosaic’s goal is not to provide the player with a predominantly gameplay filled experience. Quite the opposite. It’s about telling a story, of how you are a cog in a machine, the lowest of cogs it seems.
Mosaic Inspired by the Real World
You’re consistently reminded about your mediocre work performance, how you’re late, and will soon be open for termination if you don’t get your act together. Even your bank account is in the negative, compared to your “weekly salary.” Spoiler alert, there doesn’t seem much chance of ever getting ahead. If the inside of your home seems hopeless, wait until you get outside. Everything on display paints a picture of an entire world full of cogs in a machine. Everyone is driving to the same place, walking to the same place, and merely going through the motions.
Mosaic lives within its fictional world but makes no mistake. It is pulling from our own as inspiration. Getting in an elevator or a train, looking at others next to you, will elicit a reaction of others avoiding your gaze, looking anywhere else. Their phone. The wall, reminding us of how truly alone you feel. That is another theme of Mosaic, loneliness. There is no speaking, and that, like everything else, is deliberate. The world seems to make its goal to isolate you throughout your entire experience. In addition, there is a looming large behind the scenes evil hinted, something making the cogs turn, so to speak.
The gameplay is Very Light
The most gameplay you’ll experience is when you arrive at work. Here you’ll be gathering “resources.” It’s relatively simple, and you’ll click and make a path towards your end goal. Essentially a path leading to an end to deposit all of your resources. It might seem insignificant and mundane, but it will also be giving story context clues the more you progress.
You’re probably worried that this all sounds mundane and quite boring, doing the same thing every day. The game loop is handled expertly. It does a fantastic job of not dragging you along, seeing the same area, doing the same thing. Instead, it does flashes of how your character got to the next point or area in later days, showing you what you know, but not forcing you to spend agonizing minutes doing it all over again. On top of that, there will be something, a character that shakes things up. One that is arguably the weirdest, most random video game characters to date, especially given the setting. Other events, decisions will change your experience. Just before the game lulls you to sleep, it will snap you awake with new elements. Moments that will show a different side to the cold gray world you’ve become accustomed to.
A Narrative Action Adventure That You’ll Remember
Verdict: Mosaic is one of the strangest games I’ve played. It sets out to tell a story by creating an atmosphere and environment that continually perpetuates a feeling of dread. The message relayed throughout the three-hour playthrough is one of feeling like a cog, loneliness, and complacency. The gameplay can feel a bit tedious, but it serves a purpose. During my time, I felt a personal connection from previous eras of my life, something that Mosaic does brilliantly. If heavy gameplay is what you desire, then this title is not for you. However, if you’re looking for something different, something that makes you feel. Taking elements of our own real-world and putting them on a digestible platform, then this is indeed the game for you. I believe most will walk away from Mosaic, with moments and elements burned into their minds.
- A short adventure with no fluff
- Beauty is hidden under despair
- Music that is perfect for every situation
- An experience that will leave an impact
- The gameplay is repetitive simple and unexciting, despite having a point to the story
- Deliberately slow, even still it can get a bit boring at times
- The price is a bit steep for a 3-5 hour experience