Mosaic is the second big title from Norwegian developer Krillbite Studio, creators of Among the Sleep, and this time the developer has moved from the nightmares of childhood to the disdain of adult life.
Krillbite Studio describe Mosaic as the following through steam:
“You live monotonous life in a cold city, with no sense of meaning in your life. Until one crucial day, when strange things start to happen and everything changes. Mosaic is a dark and atmospheric adventure game.”
Mosaic is visually very similar to Playdead’s puzzle-platformer Inside, with its low-poly, muted aesthetic. The game uses mostly grey and brown tones, with splices of bright colours popping through the dystopian city and faceless crowds of office workers. It really is a beautiful game. If beautiful is the word you can use to describe a world as gloomy and grey as that of Mosaic. The style works wonders for the theme that Krillbite are trying to portray, and with the splashes of colour added in, it works to further emphasise that these events are not and everyday occurence in this world.
Mosaic was available at Unite Berlin 2018 in the form of a short demo, first shown at GDC earlier this year. The dev team have been using Unity to create their new title, and much like Slow Bros. have with Harold Halibut, they’ve really taken advantage of Unity’s lighting capabilities to help convey the mood and feel of the city. The ambient lighting really helps to not only convey the gloomy nature of the city, but also isolate the protagonist of each sequence, creating a simple, yet highly effective point of focus.
The short demo of Mosaic on display at Unite Berlin 2018 puts the player in the shoes of an unnamed protagonist, starting off with a reminder on your phone that you are, indeed, late for work. The demo follows this commute, with a slow, lumbering walk I’m sure anyone working in the corporate hives of the world will easily relate to. The disdain is broken up by distractions within the world, which are all highlighted in some way by a bright colour. Red lights lure you one way, a bright orange butterfly lures you the other. These sequences come across very much as the mind of the protagonist wandering, much like many do on their daily commute. It’s somewhat heavy-handed in its approach, but it feels all to familiar.
Mosaic takes on a narrative focus, telling the story through the dystopian weirdness happening within the world over that of any real puzzle challenge. The camera moves between an overhead view and a side on profile, with the camera zooming out onto the butterfly, before control of such is given to the player. Throughout this, the focus is on the butterfly, but you can notice the protagonist following you, eyes constantly looking across the road, in a pure daydream, staring at the oddity before him.
Throughout you get notifications on your phone in-game, reminding you that you are, indeed, still late for work, as well as news articles praising the various megacorporations that people much like the protagonist work for. Mosaic really does a good job of giving you the cog in the wheel feeling, a small, somewhat insignificant part of a much bigger picture. It seems through their nameless nature, that the game might well have the player taking control of multiple protagonists throughout the full game come release.
Mosaic is a truly interesting title that captivates you with its style, aided by the simplicity of the gameplay, allowing the player to really engross themselves into the world straight away. There’s no learning curve, and even in a short demo, you find yourself so engrossed you don’t realise just how much time has passed. We look forward to getting our hands on Mosaic when it sees its full release.
You can view the second teaser for Mosaic Below. If you’d like to follow the game’s development you can do so over at Mosaic’s website.
Mosaic is expected to launch in late 2018, for PC, Mac, Linux, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.