Apr 25, 2017 Last Updated 4:00 AM, Apr 26, 2017
Published in Adventure
Read 840 times
Rate this item
(0 votes)

If I were to tell you that you had an opportunity to explore an open world with a variety of seasons and settings as an animal, would you be interested? I was, which is why I took the opportunity to explore the game Meadow, a sandbox style MMO game that puts players in the shoes (paws?) of various types of animals in an open world setting.

I haven’t played any of the prior games created by Might and Delight, such as Shelter or Shelter 2, but I was familiar with the concept of playing as an animal in the world they have created. I am also familiar with the way that those games play; which is heavily focused on caring for members of your family and ensuring that they avoid predators or natural disaster, while also staying fat and happy on a steady diet of other animals. It is this gameplay equation that has ensured the success of the developer, and there are few games similar to the formula they perfected.

Enter Meadow.

Might and Delight took the artistic style that they were known for and opened it up into a bit more of a diverse landscape, one that offers different seasons based on where you are on the map, and interesting landscape quirks that make exploring fun. They also coupled this with a soundtrack that ensures a calming and atmospheric attitude that permeates through you into whatever animal you are exploring as onscreen. It is as an explorer that you are expected to unlock additional emotes used to communicate with other users, skin variations for the animal that you are playing as, and potentially other animals altogether.

The strange thing is that any of the aforementioned gameplay elements that previous titles are known for have been removed. There are no wolves in the wild that need to be avoided. There is no natural disaster that must be averted to ensure survival. There are puzzles still, but that seems to be it. This is unfortunate, as I had hoped for a survival or simulation type of game. I had fantasies in my head while the game loaded of finding a suitable location in the world to build a nest and foraging for plants and animals that could satiate my animalistic appetite. I knew it wouldn’t necessarily be some complex or brutal system that allowed these things to happen at a high level, but I had some hopes.

The goal of Meadow, it seems, is not to provide a compelling story or a connection to your character, but instead to allow interaction on a base level with other players in the online world. I say base level because the game limits interactions solely to the audible barking or mewing that you trigger with a left-click, or any of the emotes you have been fortunate enough to piece together -- literally. It is a self-described “forum in games clothing,” but also not a forum at all, because there is no ability to share any actual conversation.

After the initial enjoyment of being a baby badger running around frogs, deers, lynx, and other animals, the flaws overtook the ambient.

For instance, the game stuttered when in a group of animals (a shame given the focus). There were tearing issues and textures were limited, so the world looked the same, often. Couple this with the tedious nature of finding puzzle pieces to unlock animals, skins, or emotes, and no tutorial or explanation of what any of the game elements are and you have a recipe for disaster.

Finally, unless you own previous Might and Delight titles, you start out as a baby badger, and you stay that way until a new animal is unlocked. This is a shame, as there may have been even a slight uptick in playability if I was looking at the backside of a lynx or flying through the air as an eagle. Instead of staring at a badger's behind for hours on end.

3

The Verdict

I spent 7 hours in the world created by Might and Delight. In those 7 hours I unlocked 5 emotes, 0 skins, and 0 animals, and made 0 meaningful connections with the 30+ other animals I met... But it was pretty, I guess.

I wanted to like Meadow, mostly because it sounded unique, interesting, and potentially captivating. It isn’t though, at least not for me.

Image Gallery

Alex Mickle

Alex Mickle is a gamer that traces his roots to JRPG’s on the PS1, but ultimately found his way to PC gaming by spending every afternoon after school playing Counterstrike at a local LAN gaming café. He is a father and husband that splits his gaming time into bursts whenever he can find time, or when ever he makes time. Alex enjoys variance and versatility in his gaming experiences and can be found asleep on the couch with a twitch steam on the television at the end of almost every night.

Related items

  • Prey

    In Prey, you awaken aboard Talos I, a space station orbiting the moon in the year 2032. You are the key subject of an experiment meant to alter humanity forever – but things have gone terribly wrong. The space station has been overrun by hostile aliens and you are now being hunted.

  • Everything Review

    Everything is an extraordinary journey. It’s Salvador Dali meets Neil deGrasse Tyson meets Eastern Mysticism. It’s art and spirituality brought to life in a medium that transcends the limitations of books and paints. This isn’t the game you want if you’re looking for casual entertainment with which to unwind at the end of a long day. Yet, even though Everything challenges your understanding of self and the universe, it never sacrifices the simple joy of fun.

  • The Wild Eternal Review

    The Wild Eternal might be an acquired taste for some players, given its spiritual undertones and mystical themes, but the witty dialog and gripping plot combine with the scenic milieus to make The Wild Eternal a solid recommendation for fans of the genre.

More in this category: Talewind Review »

Latest Shows

Mass Effect: Andromeda - AAA Anonymous Epi. 13

Mass Effect: And…

With AAA Anonymous, we discuss our latest AAA game addiction, until the next one replaces it. This episode covers what is to many the most anticipated PC release of the year: Mass ...

OPN DevLounge Monthly - February 2017

OPN DevLounge Mo…

Episode Four, Season One! OPN's DevLounge Monthly is a lively conversation between game developers on Twitch, on the hottest PC games to be released this upcoming month. Watch it o...

Out Soon

PC Gaming Incoming

Little Nightmares

Little Nightmare…

Immerse yourself in Little Nightmares, a dark whimsical tale that will confront you with your childh...

Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3

Sniper: Ghost Wa…

Go behind enemy lines with the ultimate modern military shooter. Play as an American sniper dropped ...

Prey

Prey

In Prey, you awaken aboard Talos I, a space station orbiting the moon in the year 2032. You are the ...

The Disney Afternoon Collection Review

The Disney After…

The Disney Afternoon Collection is well polished, and a solid collection piece. Each title is ported over well, with tight controls and fluid responsiveness, but there’s also plent...

Manipulated Review

Manipulated Revi…

Manipulated creates a unique experience with a simple structure by implementing multiple different types of puzzles and challenges throughout the various levels. The art style is c...

Blitzkrieg 3 Early Access Review

Blitzkrieg 3 Ear…

There are very few negative aspects to Blitzkrieg 3, which brings unexpected, fresh ideas to one of hardcore gaming’s most recently underserved areas. Blitzkrieg 3 isan exemplary r...

Star Story: The Horizon Escape Early Access  Review

Star Story: The …

The worst I can say about Star Story is that I want more of it. I want endgame payoff for storylines that aren't finished. I want more technology and research options because I lik...

Saucer-Like Review

Saucer-Like Revi…

Saucer-Like is a short-form art piece in its genre. Beautiful art is the main focus in the narrative, with over forty hand-drawn backgrounds, each featuring rich contrasts. Saucer-...