The Deer God starts out with probably the lowest ever screen resolution that the Nintendo Switch has probably ever executed a game in. The graphics style is very reminiscent of the 16bit home computer era.

The Deer God is the game for brings purgatory to any person who has taken part in hunting wild animals. As a hunter who recently has found an untimely death you are placed in a world of purgatory as a young deer, You must right your wrongs of hunting by completing series of tasks in a dangerous world so that your soul can be freed.

Yes! god is a ruminant! Whilst The Deer God has some strong undertones of humanity, religion and questioning morals it is a fun scrolling adventure platform game.

How does The Deer God play?

From the onset The Deer God has a very retro vibe to it. It looks and feels like an 16bit game and many owners of the Nintendo Switch might be alarmed with the low pixel count. Behind this is a very emotional look at the natural world inspired by the developers love of the great outdoors.

The Deer God is fundamentally a platform game uses procedural generation of horizontal scrolling terrain. The controls are simple and easy to grasp and the game levels are cleverly designed to require some precision jumping.

However, the control of your deer sometimes doesn’t seem tight enough or enable the accuracy to make the precision jumps. The controls feel excessively floaty and the deer gather momentum leading often to miss timed jumps and sliding landings. Ironically the deer floats like your metaphysical self trapped between death and the after life. The Deer God feels like a game that could have been a chart topper back in the 1980’s.

Presentation and Graphics

The Deer God has its graphics firmly set in the genre of the retro 16bit pixel style. The last time I think i played a game similar to this graphically was back in the 1980’s! But there are a few other games that have utilised this graphical style more recently such as Terraria and Minecraft.

Being a retro fan I can really appreciate the graphical style and I really enjoyed the parallax scrolling that was used. The use of 2D style elements make the wilderness world look very pleasing.

The developer chose to use a rogue-like procedural design for generation of the gaming world which was a bold decision. This means that each time you play the gaming world will be very different.

However after a short time of playing The Deer God you start to see replication in some of the terrain. Similar pieces of terrain that require typically similar jumping mechanics. Graphically The Deer God is a beautiful game and the developers love of the outdoor world really shows through, but I cant help thinking that for many gamers the choice of retro pixelation may become a barrier.

Main Features

The Deer God has one game mode with two difficulty levels. As mentioned earlier the story places the big hunter in the role of the hunted deer. As the deer you must complete a set of task given by The Deer God before you can continue to the afterlife.

The story is self has quite deep underlying themes and asks the player to consider reincarnation, morals of hunting, survival, nature and the balance of life. Wether as gamer you will feel the emotions that the developer is trying to portray will depend on you as a person.

The story presents a series of what initially seem mundane tasks of ‘go find this item’ and ‘go and talk to this person’ to allow progression. Each task can reward either a relic or a special skill, the first being double jump.

These rewards are typically used as the story progressed. As the story evolves the whole spiritual nature of life and balance is brought into question, with each task you gain karma or lose karma. Is your soul ready to be judged by The Deer God?

The subtlety of this may be missed by many gamers who can only see The Deer God as a simple platform game. I enjoyed the opportunity to explore the scrolling world with its encapsulating music and moods created by the daytime / night time cycles.

There are elements of combat in the game and foraging which are used to place threat and reward vs risk gaming problems. I found the story compelling along with the underlying questions and themes, it had some really nice hidden meanings.

Should You Play The Deer God?

Game Name review - MGL Common Rating

Do you enjoy platform scrolling adventures games with retro pixel design. Do you enjoy a different gaming world that is randomly generated? Are you looking for a spiritual experience?

Gamers who will suit this game…

If you enjoy platform problem solving games, rogue style worlds and deep story lines that challenge morals and spiritual themes. If you don’t enjoy pixel platform games then you should look probably look elsewhere.

Round up table

The GoodThe BadThe Bugs
Spiritual meaningsPoor controlsNothing during playtime
Enchanting musicStyle not for everyone
Unique Worlds

What do you think?

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About This The Deer God Review

Game Reviewed: The Deer God digital edition, provided by the publisher.
Review Format: Nintendo Switch
PEGI Rating:  7

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