Mosaic is a stylized adventure game that’s available on most major platforms--for $19.99--and also part of Apple Arcade. Reviewed mostly on Apple Arcade.
Mosaic is a game that has a lot to say, without saying too many words. The atmospheric sounds are great, but there is no voice acting, and very little text. This game can be interpreted in many different ways and can hit people’s emotions differently based on what you are going through in your own life.
You wake up to the sound of your alarm and it’s time to start your day. You wake up and do what we all do: check your phone.
Your phone is a major part of the game. It works as a distraction, and also a vessel to show you just how hard your life is and the struggles you are going through, both personal and at work. When you get the strength to get out of bed your first stop is the bathroom. You can choose to fix your hair, straighten your tie and brush your teeth, or even do nothing. The choice is yours.
When you leave your bedroom each day, you are treated to an ever growing stack of bills and growing debt. you can just head out the door and start your commute to work, or you can procrastinate around in your apartment. When you do decide it's time, you start your journey to work; it's time for your commute.
This whole routine is something that can really hit home; messages from work that you don’t want to deal with, the struggle to get yourself ready, and the growing pile of debt is something all too many of us deal with. It was a strange issue to tackle in a video game, but this was just one of the many moments that have a real personal touch.
Your commute can be tough. It's a long, lonely trip that you make each day, rain or shine. People try their best to avoid you and not interact with you. This is especially prevalent when you enter your elevator and people obviously move away from you. You start to feel really bad for your character, even if you can’t directly relate.
Once you start your commute, your experience can change based on what you’re looking at. If you're busy looking at your phone, you may miss something that catches your interest. Random pops of color and events can happen and following up on them is an experience worth having on your own. Basically everything that happens during, and after, your commute is something that is better for you to experience on your own, so to avoid spoilers I’m not going to talk about anything that happens from the story outside of your apartment.
Like most of our lives, the most mundane part of our day is work.
The same goes for Mosaic.
Your commute ends when you get to work, and you actually go to work. You are given a task list and have to play a very boring mini game that greatly overstays its welcome. You have to concentrate your resources to reach a goal. I guess this was like real life; your commute is not bad, but then you get to work, and it's just bad.
I mentioned earlier that your phone was a distraction. There is a game on your phone called Blip Blop. It's a pointless and stupid game, but I really like what the developers did here. All of the game’s achievements are tied to this app, and only this app, rendering them a waste of time, just like what most of us do on our phones. The game is a simple clicker, but this phone game was more fun than going to work in the game. This is where the game plays better on other platforms than on Apple Arcade. You can take your phone out and do things while walking. It greatly obstructs your view and distracts you. Continuing to move, while trying to fiddle on your phone with only touch controls, was borderline impossible. This played better either with a controller or on a console.
While on your commute, pay attention to everything. There are some fun visuals hidden around the world. The below screenshot was one of my favorites.
What’s amazing about this game is how it can relate to people in many different ways. This game may be a better experience pending on what you are actually going through in your life. A lot of this is up to your interpretation. Despite having a boring job to do in the game, a lot of the other aspects kept the game interesting. I give this one a thumbs up and recommend you experience it. A single playthrough won’t take you too long.
Final Score — 5/10 —
For more reviews, be sure to check out my thoughts on Streets of Rage 4, Jay and Silent Bob Mall, Takeshi and Hiroshi, and my new podcast: Game Bites, the latest entry in The Spinchoon Podcast Network (check out Flix & a Six here). As always, check us out on Twitter @TheSpinchoonand I’m@Big_Broons.