Welcome to Elk is currently available during the Steam Game Festival as a playable demo, and I encourage you to have a looksie.
Perhaps a little off the mark this past couple of weeks as I’ve been juggling multiple websites; writing news, reviews, features and then the Steam Game Festival happens, and I find my self at a buffet of quality games, not knowing which ones to pick first.
One of those games that I have since played through is Welcome to Elk. Not knowing anything about the game, it came under a narrative-driven tab or something similar, so I downloaded it and hoped for the best.
Can I just go on record to say I love the visual approach? Ok, done. Though we’re blessed with all these variants of colours, I really love black and white illustrations, but more so with colours that pop when draped over them.
Welcome to Elk is a bit like some of the Bob’s Burgers promo pieces and fan art out there; no shading or complexity, but the bold use of colour flourishes when the backgrounds in the game are devoid of any.
You arrive in the small village of Elk, playing Frigg who has the misfortune of having her name mispronounced or forgotten by the locals. Making the transition from city slicker to island dweller, this carpenter is understandably apprehensive about where this move will take her.
The opener, and the people you encounter, remind me of some of the people I’ve met in my working life, so as off-beat as they may appear, these people really do exist. In fact, the game is based on the developers Triple Topping’s collection of real-life stories, shared in the game.
I couldn’t quite get over how much I loved the art style – slightly muted by the jolly, comical walk all the characters do – somewhat like the puppets in Team America. As you walk through the village, points of interest are highlighted with colour, but there’s not much to interact with in the demo.
The feeling of being a stranger is quite apparent when you have to mingle in a social gathering, introducing yourself while the other person forgets your name the moment you say it – such a familiar experience!
So, while it’s all dialogue-driven at this point, you soon engage with a little dancing game and press the appropriate direction to mirror your partner, a villager who has dragged you on stage.
Like a variation of PaRappa the Rappa, Frigg does a few poses, all to the tune of some alcoholic beverages. That’s when the local scumbag enters the party, and the tone seriously takes a tone.
The dialogue in Welcome to Elk was as colourful as the visuals, and I had to quickly reach for the pause option and redirect the kids out of the room. It didn’t stop there, as after necking the local brews, Frigg then proceeds to spew all over the place.
A proper spike in the story, but just had me wanting more. Once the kids were out of sight.
Alas, Welcome to Elk is currently a demo, and shortly after making it back to my (Frigg’s) supposed bedroom, a brief drunken-like vision follows then the abrupt title sequence.
I’m not entirely sure when this is actually out in 2020, but have added to my wishlist without delay. Welcome to Elk: The First Stories is currently listed on Steam with a release date of the 10th of July and features a playable demo, so looking forward to that at the very least.
Welcome to Elk is yet another title, like Willy Morgan and the Curse of Bone Town, that I’m really looking forward to playing once available.