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The Deer God review for PS Vita, PS4, Xbox One


Platform: PS Vita
Also On: PS4, PC, Xbox One, Wii U
Publisher: Crescent Moon Games
Developer: Cinopt Studios
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No
ESRB: T

I feel a little bad about not liking The Deer God more than I do. It's all about the importance of respecting nature, and the core message is that animals deserve respect and compassion. You play as a human turned into a deer by the eponymous deer god, punishment for shooting one of its kind. As someone who's a staunch environmentalist and who's been a vegan for more than a decade, that's a moral I can get behind.

However, that's about all I can get behind when it comes to The Deer God. It's dull and repetitive, a game in which you're constantly galloping forward across the screen. Occasionally you can pause to engage in lacklustre combat, solve a dull puzzle, or converse with random people and animals to take on new quests. None of these brief respites from running add all that much to the game, beyond the simple fact that pausing your run means you can take in some of the gorgeous artwork.

In fact, that's just about the only reason I can think of for why you might want to check this game out: it features some beautiful pixelated art. Given that it's all 8-bit it's somewhat sparse, but at any given point in the game, you can stop and marvel at how much care and attention The Deer God's designers put into creating this world. It doesn't make up for an otherwise underwhelming experience, but at the very least it makes that underwhelming experience slightly more tolerable.

I still wouldn't recommend this game though. I first played The Deer God a few months ago, back when it was free on Xbox One as part of Games With Gold — I playing it for about half an hour back then, got bored, and deleted it shortly thereafter. Now that it actually costs money…well, I played it for a lot longer than half an hour, but it's still a pretty boring experience that'll have you freeing up the hard drive space in pretty short order.

Grade: C-