TL;DR – It was a fantastic experience from an execution, experience and price point perspective
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
These days, video games can be created by vast teams with hundreds or even thousands of people working to bring a vision to life. However, there are still those games, or in that case more of an experience, that is the focus of a single creator’s vision. Today we look at just such a case with Matt Newell’s Mýrdalssandur, Iceland.
Now I should make clear right from the start, this is not a game, but more of an experience of walking around the titular Mýrdalssandur that you can find on Iceland’s southern coastline. It is a place of wondrous beauty and stark contrasts of green moss and black volcanic rock. If this sounds familiar to you, then it is likely that you have seen it before in Rogue One or other similar films.
This is what would be called in the parlance a walk-em-up because what you do is walk from one spot to another experience what you see. Walk-em-ups get a bad rap because there is usually some ponderous puzzle or mystery to solve that rarely has the power to sustain the full length of the game. So I was glad in Mýrdalssandur, Iceland that we just get given a camera and told to have at it.
This, of course, means that you have just the beauty of the landscape to propel you and that is where the game shines. A lot of work has gone into making the mood feel right, even if the details are not quite there. Throughout the run time, I wanted to turn every corner to see what would be there. The game had a good basis to work from and it does an admirable job of bringing it to light. This is added to by a good soundtrack that is wistful and sets the perfect tone for what is coming.
I should say that this is a very short experience, I spent about 15 minutes exploring the environment and then I was kind of done. I think this would be a problem, but the game was free, so that was a great investment in time. You could purchase a VR version and if I had a VR set at home I would have bought it without hesitation. I did come across a couple of little things like invisible walls, a clunky interface, and you don’t want to look too closely at the water, but they are only minor quibbles. If nothing else, stay for the Silent Hill nostalgia that was some strategic fog.
In the end, do we recommend Mýrdalssandur, Iceland? Yes, yes we would. Seriously, it is free, so what have you got to lose and if you like it, then I am sure it wouldn’t hurt to through the creator a couple of bucks by buying the VR version. While nothing really wowed me, there was this nice warm feeling of calm throughout the time I spent there. As if it was the video game equivalent of having a nice book and cuppa while it rains outside.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.
Have you played Mýrdalssandur, Iceland?, let us know what you thought in the comments below, feel free to share this review on any of the social medias and you can follow us Here. Check out all our past reviews and articles Here, and have a happy day.
Credits – All images were created by the creator of Mýrdalssandur, Iceland
Game Direction – Matt Newell