Morkredd Preview: Making The Easy Things Difficult
Morkredd is a lot more difficult than I expected. The main goal of the game is to push a giant orb of light to the end of each stage, while simultaneously controlling two character. You’ll need to avoid walking into shadows along the way, too – a task made all the more challenging when you realize your characters’ own shadows will often be the source of your demise. My early preview of the game left me excited to see where Morkredd is going with its narrative, and curious to see how it continues to innovate over the course of the game.
The first 15 minutes of Morkredd were incredibly eye-opening. Apparently, I’m not as coordinated as I thought. Controlling two characters at once – using the left and right analog sticks – is a lot harder than it looks and was the cause of many deaths during the first level. I’d often leave one character behind, only to run in front of the orb with my other character, cast a shadow in the wrong direction, and kill my partner. Thankfully, checkpoints are liberally scattered throughout Morkredd, and you won’t be retracing too many steps before getting back to the section that gave you trouble.
Once I made it through the Introduction level, I was better able to control my two nameless companions. However, Morkredd quickly adds difficulty to the game through various puzzles that rely on quick reflexes and careful planning. One puzzle had me place my orb of light on a pedestal in the center of the room, surrounded by two circular walls with various cutouts – letting light shine through in haphazard patterns. It was my goal to rotate these two walls until light was shining in two different directions, giving both my characters access to levers that open a gate at the other side of the room.
Not only was the puzzle challenging on its own – figuring out how to rotate the walls took me longer than I’d like to admit – but you’re also trying to dodge shadows cast by your other character and the walls themselves. The last thing you want to do is rotate the wall in the wrong direction, plunging your other player into darkness and sending them to an early grave.
It’s moments like this when Morkredd shines. I’m a big fan of its minimalistic graphics and haunting soundtrack, but these unique puzzles are the selling point of Morkredd. The first three levels included in the preview did a great job of evolving puzzles – the pedestal puzzle described above is present in simpler forms throughout the game – and plenty of new concepts crop up to keep you engaged.
Morkredd has a way of making simple things incredibly difficult. The act of getting both your characters safely on and off a boat is further complicated by the glowing orb in front of them, casting dangerous shadows as they move. Pushing the orb up ramps is challenging, too, as it requires both characters to get behind the giant ball and push together – meaning they’re just inches away from each other’s deadly shadows. Morkredd is constantly forcing you to think ahead before performing the most basic of tasks. Fail to do so, and you’ll be heading back to the nearest checkpoint.
The game is also playable as a co-op title, although I was advised to stick to single player for the sake of this preview. For what it’s worth, running around with a friend isn’t likely to make things much easier, as you’ll need to have excellent communication skills to avoid constantly killing each other with your shadow.
I left my short preview of Morkredd encouraged by what I had played, although I was curious as to how the narrative and gameplay would continue to evolve. The game is almost completely devoid of cutscenes, with background content slowly revealed as I played. I would see a massive serpent’s tail in the corner of the screen, an NPC would open a trapdoor, or I’d stumble upon an ominous locked gate with mysterious noises coming from within. The game is heavily based on Nordic culture, and I’m hopeful that a big reveal towards the end of the game will be a great payoff for all the mysteries I’ve discovered so far.
As for gameplay, if Morkredd continues to innovate as it did in these early levels, I don’t think repetition will be an issue. Sure, a few of the puzzles were easy or underdeveloped, but I’m glad that was the case this early in the game, as I was having enough trouble just moving my two characters around the environment. That being said, the gameplay will definitely need to ramp up as I become more confident in my ability to navigate both players. The final level of the preview ended with me guiding the orb onto a boat sailing down a river – adding a completely new element to the game – and I’m sure there will be plenty of other twists down the road.
Morkredd is shaping up to be a wonderful game, and I’m excited to see where the darkness is leading me.
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Morkredd will be available on Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC later this December.
- Game Previews
- Indie Games
Jon Bitner is an Associate Editor for TheGamer. His passion for gaming started with his first console (Sega Genesis) and he hasn’t stopped playing since. His favorite titles include The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Team Fortress 2, Rainbow Six Siege, Pokémon Sword & Shield, Old School Runescape, Skyrim, and Breath of the Wild. He can usually be found playing the latest RPG, FPS, or some obscure mobile game. Before working as Associate News Editor, Jon earned a Biology degree and worked in the Biotechnology sector — experiences that taught him how to put words together and make sentences. When not playing or writing about the gaming industry, he enjoys sleeping, eating, and staring at birds.
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