Have You Performed… Welcome To Elk?
At first look, Welcome To Elk seems like the brilliant and breezy cousin of Die Intestine Fabrik’s alien cleaning soap opera Mutazione. Each function younger girls travelling to a brand new island group for the primary time, and whereas Elk swaps Mutazione’s balmy tropical forests for the frozen hunts of a small Arctic fishing village, every recreation performs out in a really comparable trend.
You spend numerous time attending to know the locals, and each on occasion you may play a small, fairly inconsequential mini-game to advance the story. However beneath Welcome To Elk’s cheery cartoon exterior lies a story of peculiar depth and human tragedy, because the tales you hear and the individuals you meet aren’t simply made-up creations of developer Triple Topping. They’re all individuals and occasions which might be based mostly the truth is and have occurred in real-life, and the ensuing story is as affecting as it’s disarming.
Frigg travels to Elk with the hope of changing into a well-known carpenter’s apprentice, however she shortly will get pulled into serving to her neighbours remedy all types of issues. Individuals disappear, animals get sick, thugs begin terrorising the native bar, and at one level somebody even will get calmly trampled by one of many island’s titular mammals. Thankfully, the latter is not a deadly damage, however the ensuing mini-game of stitching up their bleeding head did put me dangerously near dropping my lunch.
Fortunately, a lot of the different mini-games in Welcome To Elk are significantly much less gory. By the point you attain the tip credit, you may have pulled some pints, made up your personal melodies in karaoke, caught some paper eyes, noses and mouths on balloons, and performed a really addictive card recreation. I am not even kidding, I would fortunately play a complete recreation that was simply spherical after spherical of Gelt Stack if I am being trustworthy.
More often than not, although, you are merely watching the primary story unfold as Frigg will get pulled from one distressed townsperson to the following. It is an emotional two and half-odd hours, and the tensions of this distant group are dealt with with nice care and sensitivity. They’re, in spite of everything, based mostly on actual occasions, all of which Frigg can learn within the mysterious bottles that seem on her desk each morning.
There’s even the odd little bit of interview footage with the individuals behind these tales thrown in there as effectively, blurring the strains between fiction and actuality. Certainly, there are occasional fourth-wall-breaking hints that Frigg is, the truth is, inside a online game that crop up each on occasion, bringing to thoughts glimmers of Daniel Mullins’ Pony Island and The Hex. Elk by no means goes utterly meta like these video games, however there’s positively some shared DNA in there.
It most likely goes with out saying by now that Welcome To Elk is not a very ‘comfortable’ recreation, and I would not advocate taking part in it should you’re feeling in any means fragile proper now. Method it in the identical means you’d, say, a difficult piece of arthouse cinema, although, and there is loads to admire right here.