Morkredd Review

There are many games that play with the duality of light and dark, good and evil, but Morkredd is a game that takes this quite literally. Darkness is the danger, while light is a saving grace that guarantees survival. The game is a physics puzzler in which two characters are tasked with transporting a large ball of light, solving puzzles and avoiding enemies along the way. There is constant danger as any hint of darkness, as even the characters’ own shadows will bring near instantaneous death.

Morkredd can be played single player or in co-op, either diving the two characters between two players or putting both characters in your control simultaneously via the two analogue sticks. The bumper buttons on the corresponding sides then allow these characters to perform actions. This can trip you up a bit especially in the beginning of the game. Coupled with the act of having to push a giant ball of light around obstacles, the control scheme never felt comfortable, especially when concentrating on moving both characters to different places at the same time.

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The majority of puzzles in Morkredd are quite easy to solve with solutions that aren’t too taxing to work out, and there is a generous checkpoint system to catch you should you fail. Failure will likely come often as there is quite a bit too keep track off. Again, shadows mean death and as the ball moves those shadows will change depending on the lighting. Since that includes the two characters’ shadows, so not only are you having to worry about the ball movement, but also character placement. While the intention is to add another layer of challenge, this just adds up to frustration in a lot of situations, causing deaths when everything else in the puzzle is lining up.

The movement of the light ball is based on physics and it does react correctly, but the moments in the game that really stand out are those when you do not need to move the ball. These have other puzzles to solve and feel a bit more engaging instead of simply having to navigate an object through the world. They’re fleeting glimpses of something else, and you’ll soon get back to moving the ball across different environments.

The story is told through art pieces that you come across, but it does not feel particularly impactful. Instead you are going from one scene to another, more likely to be focused on the puzzles than any story beats. While the game mostly plays similarly throughout, the end sequence switches things, and not really for the better. It is almost like a genre switch and is done so suddenly you will be thrown for a loop.

The art style doesn’t rely on too many colours with the contrast between light and dark doing a lot of the lifting. It’s a striking look and goes well with the varying environments that each have their own style – the river section in particular looks nice. It’s also well signposted where you’re meant go and what to do.

Unfortunately, there were a couple of bugs in my playthrough that required quitting to the main menu of the game. This included not being able to interact with a certain object halfway through the game.

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Summary
Morkredd is an interesting experiment in the use of light and dark to solve puzzles. However, the constraints of all the shadowy deaths and the occasionally frustrating movement of the ball stops Morkredd from being a better game. Through the great artwork there are hints this could have been something more.
Good
  • Physics react well
  • The visual design is very good
  • The puzzles are straightforward
Bad
  • The ball be a bit unwieldy
  • A couple of bugs
  • The end sequence feels out of place
6
Written by
From the heady days of the Mega Drive up until the modern day gaming has been my main hobby. I'll give almost any game a go.