The ravens on mighty Odinn’s shoulders sit,
At daybreak to Midgardr they depart,
To eye all tidings of men they’ll there see,
Hugin and Munin, night after night

Now morphed to mortal form by Loki,
Aground is Odinn’s crow, His memory thread,
Midgardr to Asgardr, Nine in the Tree,
Nine worlds must Munin tread for its feathers

The story pops up before the main menu does, so you don’t forget what your objective is. To break it down: you were a crow; you’re now a girl. You collect feathers across nine worlds. What helps Munin stand out from other 2D puzzle-platformers on Steam is that you accomplish this by rotating portions of the world around you. One click rotates a tile 90 degrees clockwise. It starts you off easy with no added mechanics. Later unlocked worlds offer something different for you to play around with – liquids that must be diverted and pooled into certain sections of the world so you can swim around, rocks that can be rolled around to provide steps and knock down walls, and other mechanics, all of which use a nice physics engine.

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As a puzzle game it’s certainly a different experience to the multitude of matching three-of-a-kind games and the difficulty visibly increases in each world. For example, later on you might have to rotate one tile multiple times before going to a new one, then rotating that tile to create a new path to navigate to those hard-to-reach feathers. It is a satisfying experience when it all works out at the end, but at the beginning it’s mostly trial and error. This begins to grate after a while.

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With all the variety this game has to offer, it’s a shame that as a package it’s pretty average. When a new mechanic is introduced, the sensation of the gameplay feeling refreshed is palpable. A couple of levels later it feels like business as usual and becomes very repetitive very quickly. This is a major disappointment as it had potential to be something special. Some Norse verse before the menu and another passage upon entering a new world does not make for a strong narrative and I found myself spinning level tiles wondering what the point was in what I was doing. I didn’t know how I was as a raven, I never saw Odin, I never saw Loki, I didn’t know why I was morphed into mortal form by Loki. And I didn’t care.

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There’s little more that can be said about Munin, the gameplay is solid, you know exactly what you have to do and the steps you must take to do it; the music is a little bland and forgettable but at least it looks pretty. It’s just not that fun to play. It has a good central mechanic and added little extras along the way to keep it fresh, but unlike similar concepts used in games like Portal, it falls flat due to a lack of charm. There’s no drive to keep you motivated and no reward is offered for your progress. Were there several puzzle elements like the Professor Layton series (although no where nearly as much) or some other two or three other methods of puzzling action, I would’ve enjoyed Munin a lot more. However after several levels all it did was try my patience.

Munin: Review
Pros
  • Interesting rotating mechanic
  • Variety of added elements
Cons
  • Too repetitive
  • Lack of narrative depth
  • Unmemorable experience
5Overall Score
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Was born with a Commodore 64 in his mouth and never let go of the gaming sensation. Now spreads his wings around the gaming world like an angel with really big wings wrapping them around games.

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