When there’s light, there’s darkness… and when there’s an Indietail, there’s probably a good game as well! The game we’re reviewing today is Morkredd, a tense, physics-based co-op puzzle game for one to two players. It combines skill-based puzzle-solving, a challenging balance of light and shadow, and a dark world full of secrets to unlock!
In a world shrouded by darkness, a wisp-like light awakens two characters. Guided by the light, they traverse through this dangerous place. Every step too much can result in sudden death. Stay close to this orb of light. Caution is of utmost importance, though, as your shadow is also able to eradicate your other companion.
Developer: Hyper Games Publisher: Aspyr Genre: Physics, Puzzle, Dark, Local Co-op, Exploration Release Date: December 11th, 2020 Reviewed on: PC Available on: PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series Copy was purchased.
Morkredd is a light-based puzzle game where stepping into the shadows, kills you. In a way, it’s similar to Lightmatter which was also published by Aspyr. The difference here, however, is the perspective and the role you play in this. You’re not actively placing down light sources but rather guiding this orb of light that awoke you in the first place. At times, you’ve got to push a big orb of light around and chase after it while being careful of not potentially overshadowing your partner in the process. At other times, you need to press buttons and pull levers while you’re protected by the orb. On top of that, the game suprises you by changing the perspective from this basically isometric view to a more horizontal view while you’re in a tunnel. When the two characters get too far away from each other, the camera pans out while it pans in when you’re near each other. This creates a bit of immersion which is quite lovely and very welcome!
The orb is love, the orb is life.
From the get-go, the puzzles seemed interesting and rather challenging. In Single-Player, you control both of the characters using your gamepad sticks and the shoulder-buttons to interact with things. Using the A button, you switch between the female and the male character, so that there’s no confusion when you switch sides. In Co-Op, the challenge comes from coordinating and communicating what you want to do and what you’re actually doing. I played this with a friend and really enjoyed the puzzles.
While the puzzles themselves may not be the hardest in the world, at first, the game actually picks up the pace rather hard by throwing in enemies that try to destroy your orb or moving objects that cast a shadow onto your characters. The most harmless things in the world can present a grave danger to you if you don’t watch your step – and that’s thrilling! Morkredd is tense and eventually becomes really challenging as it’s continuing to introduce new, rather creative mechanics to the game, throwing more and more roadblocks into your way.
Meanwhile, the game has some sort of story and presents it to you vaguely. By exploring the world and not always following the path you’re supposed to take, you find different ornaments on the wall that tell you a story of sorts. How did this world come to be? What happened to all other sources of lights? Where did the orb come from? Are there other people? Find out by exploring all kinds of secrets!
And once you’re done with the game after three to four hours based on how fast you proceed, you still have the “ODE” DLC that presents you a bunch of “mutators” that allow you to change the game’s renderer, the orb’s shape, and the characters’ hats… which is a nice gimmick overall.
While the plot of the game is rather vague and mysterious, the game generally adds to this using a magical soundtrack, enhancing the soundtrack. I was chuffed to bits to experience this eery and baffling atmosphere. Morkredd’s score in combination with the art style and design choices really make for a unique and interesting experience that is certainly worth its money.
But while I’m praising it so much so far, I also have a few things that I didn’t like about the game.
For starters, the sound effects and music are constantly humming in your ears when you start up the game, which was rather hard to adjust in the settings. While there is a slider of sorts that enables you to music and SFX down, I had a hard time finding that sweet spot between “I have a headache” and “the game’s too quiet”. I would have loved it if there were numerical values here so that I could adjust it using arrows, like in other games. At the same time, the game sometimes picks up the volume and gets rather loud again, despite the game being already turned down a bunch, which I personally didn’t like too much. It may not bother other people but my ears didn’t really appreciate the buzzing sounds.
In the same manner, the graphics settings are somewhat limited as well with three graphics quality settings: Low, Medium, and High. I would have liked some more detailed options here. You can turn VSync fully on, half on, or off, you can limit the frame rate, show a game timer, change the language, and adjust the brightness. Some more details as to other options to turn on or off would have been quite nice.
And at last, the game only features local co-op, which is a bit of a pain in the butt to set up. Steam Remote-Play-Together is available for the game but doesn’t really seem to work too well, which is a bummer… and while Parsec obviously is still an option here, it’s a bummer that there wasn’t a fix utilizing something that isn’t third-party software.
A pleasant surprise, however, is the fact that you can remap everything. A controller is highly recommended with this game as it influences how fast you pull, push, run and walk… but it still works with the keyboard. In Online-Co-Op (using parsec), you can easily play this with only one hand and since the buttons are customisable, this should enable a lot of people to play the game.
Personally, I really enjoyed the experience and I feel like a lot more people need to play this game. It’s a lovely experience for puzzle-newbies and puzzle-lovers alike. Morkredd‘s atmosphere is awesome and while the puzzles are relatively easy in the beginning, it actually gets quite challenging later on, which is lovely to see as it eases the player into the game. Alas, that’s a recommendation by me!
I hope you enjoyed this review! Leave feedback if you’ve got any. I’m looking forward to playing this game eventually with Ms Magi once the exams are over, especially as the game requires a lot of communication and coordination. Despite her not being the biggest videogame fan, I’d imagine that she’d still enjoy this title quite a bit.