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Old Man's Journey review


Old Man’s Journey feels a lot like a children’s book – one of those beautiful ones, with huge illustrations brightly printed on decent paper. The kind a certain kind of person might not really want to read with actual children, who would spill things, crease things, crayon all over things. The kind that might have a gentle gimmick to it – things to spot on each page, the odd flap to lift, a special kind of paint that reveals a texture when carefully presented with the whorls of the fingertips. The kind of book that doesn’t come down off the shelf very often.

A simple tale told with an interactive twist, this is the story of an old man who gets a message that sends him off on a lonely journey, crossing vast stretches of countryside, moving from mountains to little villages, travelling by car, by train, by hot air balloon. The interactive twist is this: as you move this old man around the world’s beautiful 2D landscapes, pastel colours bringing bucolic life to everything from an abandoned windmill to a scrabbly field where sheep graze, you create a path for him by raising and lowering different parts of the ground. Say there’s a range of hills in front of you, but none of them seem to connect. You can take one hill and ease it down a little, so that its edge meets the edge of the hill beneath it. The old man can then travel along that edge – always along the edge – and move from the first hill to the second and then onwards.