Game Review: “Mothmen 1966” (PC, Consoles)
Welcome back to 80s August, The Splintering’s month-long celebration of the greatest decade since movable type.
When I was in elementary school, one of my friends had a computer in his bedroom that we would stay up all night playing around on. He was the only person I knew with a computer, and coming from a household that only gamed on a SEGA Master System, the whole PC gaming thing felt like an entirely different genre of gaming. (Mostly due to the control schemes of using a mouse and keyboard)
Text adventures and visual novels felt like the natural progression of the “Choose Your Own Adventure” books. And I LOVED me some Choose Your Own Adventures Books! I mean, what’s not to love? It took storytelling to the next level by giving it an interactive, branching path, and you felt like you were actually in control of the story itself. With the onset of the 80’s, these interactive stories could now be enhanced with basic animations and rudimentary soundtracks thanks to the power of the home PC.
Based on urban legend, Mothmen 1966* feels just like one of those games I played back in the third grade – the days of playing, listening to the high school football game in the distance outside the window on an October Friday night.
Mothmen 1966 is a visual novel told from the perspective of three people who experienced one crazy night during the The Leonid Meteor Shower of 1966. Was there really a meteor shower in 1966? Were there really sightings of a strange humanoid figure with glowing red eyes and giant moth wings? I don’t know. Does it really matter? Well, whether you entertain the idea that these things did in fact happen or not, you can still enjoy following the story of Mothmen 1966.
A few times throughout, the plot is broken up by puzzles that must be solved in order to progress to the next section. Nothing too tough to figure out, but some may take you a few tries to solve. Just like in the Choose Your Own Adventure books, the end may be looming just beyond the wrong decision, but it is easy to go back and change your answers if you were hoping for a more favorable outcome. The game itself is not too long, and can definitely be played through in a single evening. My first playthrough took about three hours.
Outside of the main game, you can unlock an impossible game of Solitaire, the card game. I never finished it, so perhaps it really is impossible, but I doubt this would be a major selling point for anyone. Still, if you do manage to win at it, then hit me up in the comments, as I would love to know that it’s not really “impossible.” There is also a neat gallery of unlockable bonus artwork for completing certain objectives, which gives you some reward for your achievements.
The biggest draw about Mothmen 1966 is really the story of the game and the atmosphere created around it. If you dig these kinds of creepy adventures as told through the throwback perspective of what seems like a lifetime ago – and you are interested in the urban legend of how a real mothman experience may have gone down – then you will almost certainly enjoy Mothmen 1966. It obviously has creepy undertones and given its quick playtime, it seems like a game that would be perfect for playing through on a cold October night (Halloween time). You can’t have too many games like that!
Mothmen 1966 available now for PS4, PS5, Xbone, SeXbox, Nintendo Switch, and Steam PC for $8.99/€7.99/£6.79/~1.35 Bison dollars.
*Disclosure: A copy of Mothmen 1966 was provided to The Splintering for the purpose of this review.
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