Snufkin: Melody of Moominvalley has been on GGA’s wishlist since the 2023 Wholesome Direct last summer. The stream it was featured in highlights wholesome, cozy games made by indie game companies, and few games encompass these values so completely. 

Snufkin: Melody of Moominvalley

Snufkin: Melody of Moominvalley is a story-rich musical adventure game about Snufkin restoring the valley and helping the quirky and memorable characters and critters who call it home. A series of hideous parks have cropped up in Moominvalley, disrupting the landscape and its harmonious nature. As Snufkin, you will distract police officers, pull out signs and knock over misplaced statues while trying to restore nature and the inhabitants’ homes while ending the industrious park keeper’s plans.

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The Basics

At its core, Snufkin: Melody of Moominvalley is a fantasy adventure game set in a storybook world. The soft, illustrated style of the art pays homage to the Tove Jansson book series on which the game and characters are inspired. I say inspired because even if you are familiar with the books or animated series, the plotline is original to the game. 

The development team at Hyper Games and Raw Fury took a deep look at the main character, Snufkin, analyzed him, and built the story on how he’d interact with the world. This insight is why there isn’t a huge cache of collectible items, unlike other titles in the genre, because Snufkin, as a character, isn’t materialistically motivated. Instead, you level up musical inspiration to solve puzzles by interacting with nature, solving problems for the native creatures and taking down the encroaching marks of urbanization spreading across the valley. 

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The Music

While the word melody is in this game’s title, I was surprised at how quiet the soundtrack is. Often, there is no music playing at all; just the ambient sounds of the forest can be heard in the background. This, too, is integral to the storytelling at the heart of everything this game does. 

Beneath the ambient noises, there are two main musical components: the musical instruments Snufkin plays to solve puzzles and the music he plays as a natural, jam-session vibe. The soundtrack music that plays during the cutscenes and the title sequence is inspired by an Icelandic band called Sigur RósAccording to the developers, the music was the first thing finished for the game, thanks to this inspiration. 

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Why Should You Play?

Why should you play Snufkin: Melody of Moominvalley, and can you enjoy it if you’ve never even heard of Moominvalley until now? The relaxing gameplay, enjoyable melodic nature, and storybook-worthy setting combine for a stellar, polished experience. The linear pathing and accessible controls make this game for less experienced players, while the themes of progress and Snufkin’s journey elevate it for mature audiences.

As for being familiar with the IP, the game does an impeccable job at world-building, so I never felt like I was missing information or didn’t understand the relationships between characters. 

Snufkin: Melody of Moominvalley releases for PlayStation 5Xbox Series X|SNintendo Switch and PC on March 7, 2024. You can watch the trailer below and wishlist it on Steam here!

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