You lead a monotonous life in a cold place, with no clear sense of meaning-until one fateful day, when weird things begin to happen and everything changes, it is the puzzle of life and that's what mosaic is all about!
What’s your daily life look like? Do you have a morning routine? Do you find something interesting on the way to work? And speaking of work, how do you feel? Do you come home everyday with a feeling of fulfillment or do you feel like you are nothing more than a cog in a machine? Krillbite Studio created mosaic and dive into this dark pool of uncertainty, dragging the player with him il a puzzle, and forcing you to face something you don’t fully understand. It’s a grim look at what it means to be stuck without the basic purpose that we all need, and although it’s hard to keep up technically, I stayed invested throughout the six hours of play.
The first thing to keep in mind about Mosaic is that it is a simple game. You control an unnamed employee, living life in a cold and unforgiving city, where people are basically just cattle. Everyone does their job, sleep, then wake up to do their work again. Navigating around the world is as simple as moving around and interacting with various objects. This is the entire gameplay, except for the moments you spend working. The work that you do is to create routes on a grid so that the resources are directed towards a goal that they have defined for you. Once you have reached your quota, the day ends and you move on to the next part of the game.
I woke up, got out of bed, dragged a comb over my head
The simplicity of Mosaic works in its favor most of the time, the graphic style being relatively clean and crisp. Nothing seems too surprising, but I think that’s the goal. Things are supposed to look boring, dreary and depressing, and it does a great job of making you feel like this heartless city is threatening you while you train for life. But where the game really shines is in its camera work. The camera will zoom in, back, sweep, lift and drop, and do whatever else you can think of to create impressive cinematic photos. Mosaic never asks the player to do anything demanding or frustrating, instead of letting the events unfold and giving you the choice of what you want to do with the story.
If you are someone who likes to explain everything to you, leaving nothing to the imagination, then Mosaic is probably not for you. The game is basically about feeling like a drop in the ocean, but what is played from start to finish is entirely up to the player to withdraw whatever he chooses. There is practically no dialogue in the game, and many scenes unfold as if the character had lost acid, so most of the time you will be forced to internalize and assess what you just saw. Mosaic does it very well, even in moments that seem completely absurd. If you dig deep enough, you’ll find what you need this game means to you, and it’s something I think we don’t have enough of in the industry.
The sound design is done quite well and helps to create the anxieties of adulthood that most people face on a daily basis. To depict panic, for example, while walking down an alley, you will notice that the score begins to crescendo, build and build until you drown in a sea of noise, which really makes you feel that something is going to go wrong. It works so well because most of the time the game is pretty quiet, making every noise, whether it’s street noise, a press of a cell phone button, or the hum of a really pop fridge. There are also some sweet uses of more traditional music throughout the game, with a particular sequence involving a butterfly of mesmerizing beauty.
For a game that doesn’t try to be a technical power, it certainly slows down a lot. I’m not entirely sure if this is more of a hardware problem with the switch, but every minute or two the game is late, sometimes to the point of freezing completely for a good five seconds. In the early hours of this, I could look past it, but at the end of the game, I was annoyed by the interruptions. A few audio bugs will also appear here and there, but nothing really remarkable. You should not avoid the game because of the lag, but be aware that this is a problem.
I enjoyed Mosaic. It’s not reinventing the wheel, and we’ve seen this kind of story many times before, but there’s something about this game that works. It’s not too long, it’s interesting from the start, and I think it does a great job of commenting on some specific difficulties in life. Much of the game is open and will leave the player wondering what he just saw, but that’s the beauty of it. Like I said earlier, Mosaic may be what you need and if you have been feeling depressed lately, this game may inspire you. If even just a little.