Jumping into the demo for Welcome To Elk that was available during LudoNarraCon 2020 I was instantly grabbed by the games minimalist 2D art. However, it was the story and character elements presented in the ten-minute demo that has quickly risen this game to one of my most anticipated in 2020.
In a weird juxtaposition, the game starts with a rather cute and full-of-life comedic tone and ends with a sombre potentially scary undertone.
You play as Frigg, a young girl who has just arrived at on Elk Island. You quickly meet Jan who’s going to be teaching you carpentry during your stay on the island. He shows you around; it’s mostly cabins and fishing supplies — there certainly isn’t wi-fi on this island — and then Jan takes you up to the Hermit Bar. He explains that the town is celebrating the death of Mr Nolan, “The Old Brewer” as they apparently call him. A legend on the island it would seem.
Inside everyone is drinking and eating their share. Frigg introduces herself to everyone and apart from two people who seemed oddly annoyed at her presence, everyone seems nice enough in their own way.
Not one to miss out on the fun Frigg takes part in an island drinking game that involves a dancing mini-game. You just have to copy the W-A-S-D inputs given to you by another character. It’s rather silly as most of the game as seen up till this point. There was even a weird octopus I bumped into outside in a cage that was holding a knife. The tone, I thought, had been set for silly fun.
A stranger enters the bar. His name is Leroy and somewhat unsurprisingly related to the two odd characters I mentioned before. The mood turns from silly to sour upon his presence and then quickly to scary. He begins ranting and swearing at everyone in the room before making his way to Frigg and begins putting his hands on her face and implying they should head out together to “somewhere quite.” Suddenly the tone is scary. I was worried about Frigg.
Fortunately, nothing happens and he leaves and Frigg finds the way to her cabin alone in the night. The game ends with her having some sort of weird dream. Or maybe it’s not a dream! Who’s to say really, but I really want to know what happens next.
Welcome to Elk has a release date of 2020 and you can wishlist the game on Steam HERE.
Check out my gameplay of Welcome To Elk below and let me know in the comments what you think.