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What The Critics Are Saying About Mundaun

Reviews finally rolled in for Mundaun, the "lovingly hand-penciled" adventure horror game from indie developer Hidden Fields, following its March 16, 2021 launch. Critics discussed plenty of details relevant to fans of the genre, and Cass Marshall of Polygon even noted, "Mundaun is the dreadful vacation I didn't know I needed."


Mundaun, which reportedly offers about 10 hours of atmospheric goodness, follows one individual's journey to find out what happened to his recently deceased grandfather. Between puzzles and light combat, the game focuses more on psychological thrills than jump scares. The silent protagonist adds to this creepiness. "The game shows, and doesn't tell," wrote Marshall. "It's nice to spend time with a horror protagonist like Curdin who isn't constantly chatting to himself."

That's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what Mundaun has to offer players. Between the unique graphics and immersive gameplay, critics were caught in a balancing act between pros and cons throughout the game.

Mundaun offers an eerie and nostalgic art style

Mundaun sets itself apart with its greyscale graphics, which, according to Jamie Latour from TheGamer, add a "mysterious and ancient" feel to the game. Polygon's Marshall also commented on the aesthetic, describing it as "an effective visual style" despite being "off-putting at first." The hand-drawn artwork directly contributes to the environment, which Andrew King from GameSpot mentioned was "as interesting as any personal revelation."


While the design seems tailored to help create a creepy atmosphere, Latour had another idea. In his review, Latour referred to the art style as "an ingenious way to cover up the fact that most of the game's visuals are pretty low-poly" and even asserted that "without this pencil-shaded filter, Mundaun would look like a game developed in the Source engine from the early 2000s." This wasn't presented as a strike against it, however. Latour liked the artwork, which he felt evoked the nostalgia of old school horror games and movies while contributing to the eerie setting.

Mundaun has a lot of bugs

One point that each critic discussed was the abundance of bugs. Both TheGamer's Latour and GameSpot's King found pretty disruptive bugs in their playthroughs. Latour ran into an issue that required him to return to a previous save file, and King had to restart the game twice before he could make it through a specific section. 


"Mundaun is beset by bugs as disruptive as a flat tire," King said. On multiple occasions, he couldn't tell if the problems he ran into were bugs or intentional challenges. Even Latour had trouble figuring out if an "item bugged out or you only get one chance," and eventually concluded that "neither of those options is all that great." 

Despite the bugs, Polygon wrote that "While a picky player can find points to ding off Mundaun, like the occasionally opaque puzzle or visual glitch, there is no flaw so great it overcomes the game's environment, art, and story." Essentially, every player will have to decide for themselves if the glitches are annoying to the point of not playing.

Overall, Mundaun is worth it

Even with the negatives, TheGamer, Polygon, and GameSpot decided that Mundaun is worth it in the end. 

For Marshall, "The story is just interesting, competently paced, and set on a believable and beautiful stage." Latour wrote that "Mundaun has a phenomenal, eerie atmosphere that's easy to get lost in," making it "a place that's worth visiting." King attributed the greatness of the game to one key aspect: "The journey, rather than the destination, is the focus of Mundaun–the reasons you take it and the travel required to reach its conclusion."


Despite the fact that all three critics found something to dislike in the title — whether it was lengthy travel times, annoying bugs, or the difficult puzzles — they all agreed it merited the time investment. While it may not join the ranks of the best horror games of all time, it sounds like Mundaun could be a good distraction for anyone waiting for more Silent Hill rumors.