Dropped onto a desert island with no recollection of who or where you are. With debris from different points of history surrounding you, it’s your job in Montague’s Mount to find out who you are and why you are here.
From Indie developer PolyPusher Studios, Montague’s Mount is a psychological adventure game which delves into one man’s tormented mind as he is isolated on this desolate island. Within minutes of waking up on this island you encounter gasoline-powered generators, bridges operated by pulley mechanisms, sundials and Polaroid photographs, an island lost in different parts of history it seems.
Ghostly visions of a boy also haunt you within minutes of gameplay. Unknown as to who he is Montague’s Mount asks you to start chasing after the answers and it’s enticing as ever.
The core mechanics and gameplay from Montague’s Mount is incredibly straight forward, explore the island, collect items which open doors, solve a puzzle and work your way through these blocked entrances. Carrying out these actions is commandeered by your left mouse-click. A very minimalistic approach to the gameplay side, but more immersive in terms of the game’s narrative. It’s very easy to get into the game with this system, but it does also unfortunately mean that down to it’s core it just doesn’t feel right.
Roaming the island is quite enjoyable, but as you’re in the role of an injured protagonist, it’s not so fun when you have to backtrack to the beach it took you ten minutes to get out of.
The island itself is very well designed and detailed, littered with bits of debris and various items throughout, looking like a scene out of castaway. You’ll find ornate objects inside suitcases, valuable paintings, photographs and of course objects used to solve puzzles. There is a little bit of over exaggeration with the design though. Often the items littered among the ground become too many to actually successfully find the key item you are looking for, making it a rather annoying struggle to solve these puzzles.
The first puzzle you’re confronted with is a case of finding these “colourful wooden spinner” objects, with no hint as to what they’re for, you’re later faced with a device that lets you place these, eventually lowering a drawbridge leading to the next area. You would have thought it’d be as simple as placing the four wooden spinners inside this device and voila, it comes down. In fact, these spinners need to form a pattern, this pattern is gained through another pattern of a flashing light and then deciphering that into Morse code. I know what you’re thinking, take a crash course in Morse code before you play this game? It’s a little easier than that, but also quite infuriating. What you actually need is a piece of paper, which helps you decipher this light pattern into a pattern in which you can switch the spinners to, the trick is, this piece of paper is all the way back from where you came and takes you about a minute to read, which is probably around ten percent of the time it takes you to travel to where it is.
But there is one area of this game where it redeems itself. Soundtracks are integral to any game, it’s the portion of a game that can make you feel something, relate towards the characters, scare you or just downright have you headbanging through a battle. Montagues Mount soundtrack is a stellar one, a beautiful piano score that lends itself to the ambiance and thrill of it’s story. Eerie and moving, this soundtrack helps convey the emotion that the games protagonist is feeling throughout moments of the game.
Montague’s Mount is a eerie adventure through the human psyche, packed with twists and turns to its story. Unfortunately it is let down by it’s simplistic mechanics and poorly constructed puzzle systems. Complemented by a gorgeous and emotional soundtrack, Montague’s Mount certainly isn’t the best adventure-thriller out there, but it most definitely is worth a go.