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Montague's Mount (Video Game Review)

Montague's Mount is a new, independently developed title from PolyPusher Studios. The game released earlier in October and is available across a variety of downloadable platforms including GOG.com. Equal parts of horror and psychological drama help make up the game's storyline, while gameplay is mostly centered around solving complex puzzles with items hidden around the gloomy island that makes up the game's world. Montague's Mount is very slow paced, even to be a negative, but fans that are looking for a challenging new puzzle title will want to skip Montague's Mount altogether.

Montague's Mount doesn't refer to a horse obviously, but instead, it refers to the ominous island the player awakens shipwrecked upon. Things get worse for the game's protagonist when he realizes he doesn't know who he is or how he ended up on the island, as he struggles through the game with a terrible case of amnesia as well as some sustained injuries that drastically hinder his maneuverability. The player will need to explore the island to find help off the island and help the main character regain his memory before becoming completely insane.

After limping around the beach to find a crutch the player can use to assist in walking around the island, some of the camera shake and blur is reduced, but moving around is still very slow and tedious. The slow pace doesn't add to the tension of the game very often, and instead it seems to detract from the impressiveness of the experience overall. Montague's Mount biggest flaw is one of the most important design choices a developer has to make for a game, and many players won't give Montague's Mount a fair chance before becoming too infuriated to continue playing when walking back and forth between puzzles and the pieces needed to complete the task takes such an exhausting amount of time.

One thing Montague's Mount gets right is its horror chills and psychological storyline. Montague's Mount is a game that uses these story elements to craft a really compelling story that begins with seeing a small, supernatural child on the beach in the first cutscene of the game, and it continues to drop many helpful hints to the player in the form of news scribblings and other documents that begins unraveling a story that makes the island turn out to be not at all what it looks like in the beginning of the game.

Players will need to solve many complex puzzles to progress through the entirety of Montague's Mount, and we don't use the word complex lightly to describe the difficulty of the gameplay in this new title. Do you know Morse Code? Well, you will have a good idea of how it works by the end of the first chapter as only one part of the multiple step process requires the player to decipher a message sent through the special language. Montague's Mount always gives players the tools they need to succeed through any challenge or puzzle, but it can take some time to discover how each piece of the puzzle fits together even when all parts have been found and are laid out to examine.

Montague's Mount uses a dull color palate and limited visibility to help create a frightening environment. The game's visuals are too blurry to be enjoyed, alongside some noticeable lag at times, with graphical glitches causing the player to get stuck in the environment and have to restart from a recent checkpoint more often than any enemy or deadly traps like most horror games would incorporate. Rain, fog and other weather effects highlight the experience to keep locations varied even though large parts of the island look about the same.

The limited vision often impairs the player's vision drastically and can make finding hidden items necessary to complete puzzles a real hassle. When combined with the player's slow movement, this creates some really annoying situations due to less than ideal design choices that could have been easily avoided. In a perfect world, it would only take a few hours to run through the campaign of Montague's Mount, so the slow pacing lengthens the game if nothing else and could help explain why the game chooses not to allow players to move faster and never be injured in the first place.

Montague's Mount features horrendous graphical designs combined with subpar sound  that doesn't create the immersive environment needed for players to explore. Montague's Mount uses a simple control scheme which doesn't seem to help at all when solving the game's complex puzzles. A compass is available for the heads up display to help players find their way around the island, but it's almost not  necessary since it can only help with one or two puzzles throughout the entire campaign.

Montague's Mount could have been a good game, but it has many flaws with some being worse than the others. The slow pacing of the game really detracts from the overall game experience making it difficult to appreciate any good qualities it may have. Montague's Mount features a strong storyline but the puzzles may be too complex for players that aren't hardcore fans of the genre. If you're looking for a new psychological horror title, then you may want to skip Montague's Mount, and find some other spooky title to pick up this Halloween. To learn more, check out Montague's Mount on GOG.com or your preferred downloadable platform of choice.

Montague's Mount is now available for PC, Mac and Linux and can be purchased for $9.99. For more information on the game, check out the official Montague's Mount website.

Game Features:
Single Player
Complex Puzzles
Chilling Environments
Terrifying Antagonists
Point-and-Click Elements

Game Information:
Developer & Publisher: PolyPusher Studios
Platforms: PC (reviewed), Mac & Linux
Release Date: October 9, 2013

Score: 3 out of 10

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