Whilst we are somewhat taken aback by this development, we have naturally hired the skills of an Animal Communicator, Dorothy Buckingham, to ensure the review is delivered in a timely fashion.
DOROTHY: So, I understand you’ve been playing The Deer God, a 2D platform game, prior to your transformation?
[The deer joyously nods]
DOROTHY: Excellent. I assume you’ve found that more difficult since you became a deer?
[The deer forlornly nods, raising his hooves one by one]
DOROTHY: Yes, I can see that holding a joypad with…
[The deer bristles]
DOROTHY: What’s that? You had problems with the joypad before? Wait a second…you found it pre-configured for a 360 pad, but you were using a different pad which spoiled the button prompts?
[The deer appears confirmational]
DOROTHY: Apart from that, what struck you early on with your experiences with the game?
[The deer appears to move into a monologue, pacing around in squares, sighing happily at the sky]
DOROTHY: You appreciated the 3D-based voxelly-pixelly art, the sense of tranquility? You thought the art was impressive, the animation smooth?
[The deer runs and hides behind a tree]
DOROTHY: Andrew, come back.
[The deer jumps out from behind the tree, landing slightly awkwardly]
DOROTHY: You found the foreground objects made it difficult to judge certain jumps in the game?
[The deer appears tranquil again, but then runs away rapidly, performing a series of agile, carefully measured leaps]
DOROTHY: So, despite the feeling of tranquility and nature, you found that the game encouraged you to sprint, taking the platforming as it comes?
[The deer frowns at a spider, then jumps over it and sprints again]
DOROTHY: You found the combat functional, albeit uninspiring, so it was better to avoid it where possible?
[The deer jumps on an owl. And a stag. And an eagle. And a monkey. And..]
DOROTHY: There’s lots of combat then? Much too much?
[The deer nods and eats some berries]
DOROTHY: Ah, you also didn’t really understand why the game required constant eating? That like the combat it didn’t really seem required in the game?
[The deer shrugs]
DOROTHY: Oh. You were just hungry. Fair enough. But that does apply to the game too?
[The deer nods]
DOROTHY: And what about development throughout the game? Is it a simple platformer?
[The deer goes into elaborate charades, pretending to wield a whip and then rolling into a ball and through a narrow hole in the wall]
DOROTHY: Metroidvania aspects then?
[The deer nods, although with an air of confusion]
DOROTHY: But you didn’t find those aspects particularly well communicated?
[The deer nods, lets out a relaxed sigh, then looks confused again]
DOROTHY: You feel the atmosphere and the setting were prioritised over communicating the minutiae of the game to the player, generally to the detriment of the game as an experience?
[The deer is quite impressed that the animal communicator is able to ascertain such a precise opinion]
DOROTHY: I am a professional. I’ve worked with a psychic horse, you know. He could communicate with the dead, but then he got famous and left me behind.
[The deer looks incredulous]
DOROTHY: OK, I know someone who worked with him. But he could definitely contact the dead.
[The deer looks incredulous]
DOROTHY: No, I can’t really back that up. But they said so.
[The deer nods, slowly. Then taps his face on the animal communicator’s watch]
DOROTHY: Have you got somewhere to be? Oh, you’re saying that this isn’t a massive game?
[The deer nods, twice.]
DOROTHY: Both? So you want to wrap this up then?
[The deer nods. Then suddenly drops dead!]
DOROTHY: So you sometimes die in the game?
DOROTHY: Ah, so permadeath? How does that work then?
[The deer shrugs, then looks forlorn]
DOROTHY: Ah, for the most part if you avoid combat you can make good progress, often unlocking young deer to reincarnate into, but when death does occur it feels quite cheap and unnecessary, adding nothing to the experience?
[The deer nods once, then angrily bellows]
DOROTHY: That when a death is caused by the controls, or the view being obstructed, it’s really rather annoying?
[The deer runs and jumps, appears tranquil, kicks a porcupine]
DOROTHY: So when it’s going well, it looks good, the setting is great and you don’t mind occasional bits of combat?
[The deer mimes falling off a cliff on to spikes, then looks bemused at the spikes]
DOROTHY: But then it all goes wrong, and when have there even been spike pits in real life?
[The deer starts to dance. It’s quite embarrassing]
DOROTHY: David Brent? Ah! Awful bosses. The game has awful bosses.
[The deer dances again]
DOROTHY: That bad?
[The deer nods]
DOROTHY: Anything else?
[The deer shrugs and looks confused]
DOROTHY: You spent most of the game not really knowing what to do, but somehow completed it despite that? But despite that, you recommend it, but it falls short of what it could have achieved?
[The deer nods, lays down, pondering his existence and the nature of life as a concept, but not in a wholly satisfied manner]
Andrew The Deer has since been shot and served as rather delicious venison burgers, his antlers hanging on the walls of Gamestyle Towers in memory of his time spent here.