"Bramble: The Mountain King" is a game, carefully crafted to immerse players in a captivating and thrilling experience. The game starts guided by the narrator's explanations. Olle awakens on a night, and he notices the vacant bed beside him. This moment sets the ambiance for the mysterious adventure that lies ahead.
A small, unobtrusive white dot serves as an affordance and the colour contrast between the white and the dark room makes it clear that this dot indicates interactivity.
Players intimately examining the objects enables them to get insights into the protagonist's identity and the unfolding events within the environment. Olle leaves his house and walks through the dimly lit woods. The forest is calm and quiet, with no one around. We can feel that animals live in the forest, but we're not sure if they are friendly or not.
Olle is by himself until a sudden deer appears out of nowhere. As this happens, the vibration motors of the controller activate, intensifying the thrilling music, and as Olle becomes frightened, we also feel his unease. It is a quick yet immersive scene.
Shifting the camera perspective, the game deliberately captures Olle from a distance, accentuating the vastness of the forest. This contrast of a small, vulnerable character against the sprawling environment creates an overwhelming sense of isolation and the potential to become lost in this expansive realm.
Afterwards, Olle finally finds his sister. The nighttime fades, giving way to the sunlight, and we embark on a serene and joyful journey of two youngsters in the forest. Here, they encounter other creatures with child-like qualities, engaging in play with them as the adventure unfolds. This starkly reminds us that Olle is just a regular kid, lacking a grand destiny. His desires are simple – to have fun, play, and live his life. However, the peace is disrupted when the merciless and aggressive, colossal troll kidnaps Olle's sister.
Integral to the experience, the soundtrack seamlessly intertwines with the silence of the characters who rarely talk, making the game more immersive. The music serves as a powerful storyteller in its own right, heightening the emotional resonance of the narrative.
Even the tutorial aspect of the game is ingeniously woven into the fabric of the world. Learning to use essential skills occurs organically, such as learning shooting abilities through playful interactions with the protagonist's sister. This approach blurs the lines between learning and immersing in the game world, enhancing the player's connection to the characters and the environment.
Mind that, this isn't a review but rather a reflection on its captivating introductory art. By closely analyzing the visuals and other important aspects, we can understand and appreciate the artistic choices the game designers made. This helps us grasp why the game looks and feels the way it does, and what emotions it intends to evoke.
As an overall great video game, Bramble shows the true nature, of the horror of bedtime stories in beautifully crafted storytelling and gameplay. Since Bramble received a Golden Spotlight from us, we encourage you to experience this game firsthand!