From day one, The Magnificent Trufflepigs, a game about metal detecting and romance, swayed towards the fences with the prestigious television powerhouse AMC (from Living Dead, Crazy men, and Breaking bad fame) as publishers. But is it the equivalent of a stash of rare Roman coins or just another rusty bottle cap?
The story goes as follows: Beth, a woman whose comfortable nepotism-earned work, outstanding nuptials, and comfortable lifestyle hang by a thread of her own making, decides to relive her childhood glory days of metal detecting by calling her name. ex, Adam. (that’s you). You’ll spend the next five days trying to find something she’s missing, whether it’s the earring to match the one she found as a child or the final piece of the puzzle of her neat life.
Trufflepigs, as the debut game from new studio Thunkd, is clearly trying to lean on the reputations of other beloved walking simulator games to build its credibility. It’s hard not to oppose The Magnificent Trufflepigs in the face of a similar romp in the British countryside, Everybody’s gone to the rapture – especially since the lead designer for both is the same man, Andrew Crawshaw, a fact that is mentioned prominently in press materials.
Clearly, the comparison is welcome (and encouraging), but not always appropriate: Everybody’s Gone was a silent and haunting storytelling game with a story that unfolds in passing, and The Magnificent Trufflepigs, even though it aesthetically nailed a sleepy dream of Yorkshire. village, with a charming and meandering soundtrack, is more like Firewatch in the way it plays. Namely: most of the time you’ll be slowly waving a metal detector across a field, unearthing exciting treasures (costume jewelery!) And mundane (a horseshoe! In a field where horses live!), Or chatting with a walkie-talkie with Beth.
Arthur Darvill as Adam is charming down-to-earth, but Beth, through no fault of Luci Fish, whose singing Northern accent brings the script to life, is selfish, spoiled, and ungrateful. Although metal detecting is slow and a bit boring, it becomes much more preferable than hearing Beth complain about the high-paying job they gave her and treating Adam like a jerk in her shoe, especially when you’ve just entered a groove with the detector, only to be interrupted by the creak of a walkie-talkie, again.
As the narrative unfolds, you’ll feel more and more sorry for poor Adam, who, despite spending an entire week on metal detecting, is never much more than a reluctant therapist for Beth and her spark plug issues ( like the fact that her boyfriend wouldn’t). t spend £ 6k on a ring for her. SIX THOUSAND POUNDS).
Then again, there’s a chance this is all a thought experiment for Beth, and Adam isn’t real at all, which makes the story a bit more bearable, but overall, Trufflepigs is a bit too short, a A little too slow and a little too much of the nasty Beth. As a proof of concept of what Thunkd can do, its promising but limited graphics, poor accessibility options (although text size can be changed), and non-skippable dialogs make it difficult to recommend.
Unless, of course, you’re looking for three quiet hours of pleasant pastoral worldliness, sporadically interrupted by a self-involved rich kid who has a quarter-life crisis and does it. your trouble.