The great Llamosft launched this in mid-2020. It’s a trance shooter, styled like an ’80s arcade romp with added large deer with palmate antlers. Here we go!
Get a Psychedelic Fix in Moose Life
Right… this was in the Christmas Steam sale so we picked it up for £2. After firing it up, you’re greeted with an early ’80s arcade type screen.
This menu screen is one of the game’s greatest mysteries, as it worked sporadically for us and made getting a game started rather difficult.
Once we did get going, though, things just got weirder.
Largely in a fantastical way, we must say! Moose Life is madness. Madness is Moose Life. The psychedelic lunacy of the title can’t be downplayed at all.
Classified as a trance shooter, you (the player) take control of a moose.
In the depths of space, you have a forward path to follow across two planes—one at the top of the screen, one at the bottom.
You can move the moose around those planes (including reversing), but you can only shoot forward. So as enemies approach, you have to tactically think about wiping them out.
It’s not long before the psychedelic chaos of the experience kicks in, as you can collect things like sheep and other triggers to cause mass stag stampedes and random explosions.
What’s obvious straight from the off? Moose Life isn’t a game you take seriously.
That’s one of its main joys. The levels (of which there are 50) move at a hell of a rate, often in chaotic fashion. Yet it’s the mayhem that makes the game joyous.
Very little makes sense. In fact, on occasion it’s a bit difficult to understand what’s going on.
In the end, you have to sit back and behold the colourful explosions as you feel voyeuristic. A mere observer of a moose hurtling through space and challenging dimensions.
Between levels, there are many moose-based puns to keep your fighting spirit up. One is “Dear and Loathing in Basingstoke”. It is good.
The pelting trance soundtrack that accompanies the experience ramps up the levels of bizarre… and that includes figuring out how to jump.
You can press the K button on your keyboard to do that. Took us a while to work it out.
That’s part of the appeal of Moose Life. It’s like a Bukowski novel.
Everything is kind of cobbled together haphazardly (deliberately so) with ridiculous humour jammed in every nook and cranny.
So, yeah. If Moose Life looks like the type of thing you’d enjoy, much fun can be had here. It’s surreal. It’s silly. And we like it a lot.