Developer Triple Topping’s new adventure game Welcome to Elk just might be one of the strangest games I’ve played in some time. I first played it a couple months ago via the demo that was made available during the Xbox Summer Games Fest. While that demo was short, the little bit of story that was there had me interested in what I would see in the final game. Well it’s now available for everyone to play and after doing just that I have to say I was surprised by just how good it is.
In the game you control a character named Frigg who is escaping city life to come live a quieter one on the island of Elk. Once you get off the boat you are met by a carpenter named Jep who you’ll be working for. From here you’ll follow him and soon meet many of the other people living on the island. Each character in this game is interesting and has their own tale to tell making it a joy to get to know each of them over the course of the few hours this game lasts for.
The core gameplay is very much like any other adventure game as you’ll be walking around and just talking with people a lot. What sets it apart though is when you get thrown into one of the many mini-games during the game. These are usually short sequences where you’ll be doing things like dancing, serving drinks, or playing a mini-golf game. Then there are more serious ones which are quite impactful. You see despite the colorful presentation this is a game that touches on some heavy subject matter at times and some of the things left quite the lasting impression on me. It was this type of thing that I experienced in the demo and that had me wanting to play the final game of which there are many more.
Something that I didn’t see in the demo though was that the events that happen in this game are based on things that happened to actual people that the developers know. What’s really cool is that after seeing the event in the game you then see an actual real life recording of someone telling you what happened in that event in real life. This was really cool and interesting and something I’ve never quite seen done before in a game.
The art style is one of the best things about Welcome to Elk as you can see in all of the screenshots here. Everything is just drawn and colored so well and the way it is done helps the player too. You see only colored objects can be interacted with so anything else in the world you’ll know is just there for looks. It’s also got a rather good soundtrack that makes use of a variety of instruments.
Welcome to Elk is a fantastic adventure game full of memorable stories and it has one of the best art styles of the year. The only bad thing I can really say about it is that it seemed to be over too soon. The way it tells its stories is really unique and surprising. If you love memorable tales then don’t let this one pass you by.
*Welcome to Elk is available now on Xbox One and PC. Reviewed on an Xbox One X. Review copy provided by the publisher for this review.