Well, that was over quick. According to the Itch.io launcher, I installed this game less than an hour ago, and now I'm done with it. I have to admit, I probably would not have played this if I didn't get if for free. It wasn't bad, mind. One day, we will all croak it, and I think this game portrays the feelings of those left behind on a pretty accurate way. As most things, death is pretty diverse, and you get to see a lot of cases here, which are treated with a lot of respect. A young man who took his own life, a woman who died of cancer, an unidentified homeless man whose corpse nobody claimed. It made me appreciate the job morticians do even more. Music is pretty decent too. If you feel like playing a relatively slow, short and contemplative story, I can recommend this game, although I'm a bit more hesitant to do so on the regular, full price. It depends on whether or not you feel its worth $10 considering the length of the game
bit short but lovely all the same. i highly appreciated the "dying while trans" newsletter
"Death industry" is a terrifying combination of words. The not-so-subtle mission of A Mortician's Tale is to show that that's not inherent to the concepts but an effect of how our culture interprets those words. More specifically, the mission is to take the sting out of the first word and caution about the second.
It succeeds well enough. The "industry" aspect comes across as almost cartoonish. Mom & pop store good, reasonable, empathetic. Large corporation evil, rigid, exploitative. Not that it deserves a rebuttal. I'm certainly not going to disagree. That it's taken for granted however causes the writers' politics to shine bright when it wouldn't be necessary with more gradual escalation.
The "death" side of the equation is far more affecting. Preparing bodies, attending funerals, and reading the funeral-themed newsletters (?) becomes meditative to the point that death, in a way I can't really articulate, stops feeling like death. It's not a numbness to death but perhaps a compassionate respect for death. Unfortunately while the game does briefly explore the different ways the dead can be received at the funeral home it does not give each one time to breathe. So when (no spoilers) one person's wake is starkly different from another, it doesn't have the impact I feel like it could.
These two issues are fundamentally the same complaint: game's too short. Not as in it's lacking in content but as in the pacing feels off. Let me zone out to routine jobs a little longer before throwing a moral choice at me. Let me work for the corporation a little longer before telling me I'm doing a bad job because I'm too compassionate.
Maybe that's outside the scope of what the game wants to accomplish. I did come away from this feeling more educated on the, erm, "death industry." I thought about my own death through a lens of comfort instead of existential horror. I'm still young enough for that to feel novel.
Less of a game and more of an interactive short story, A Mortician's Tale gives you a glimpse into the interesting, if somewhat morbid world of one who cleans, embalms, and cremate corpses. The premise is intriguing enough, but ultimately, the tale being told here is nothing groundbreaking.
I'm a pretty squeamish person, so I appreciate that the graphics of this game are somewhat cute and stylized. If I had to clean and preserve realistic corpses, I would be done with this game in seconds. The art style, while simple, makes the so-called "death industry" far more digestible than it is in real life.
I knew going into this game that it would be short and story-based, so I wasn't expecting riveting gameplay. That being said, I wish they could have done a LITTLE more to make what little play there is a tad more interesting. I suppose the repetitive gameplay loop is slightly intentional, as you're meant to ponder on what it means to be involved in a "death industry", but the lack of shake-ups left me wanting more.
As I mentioned, this is a game that emphasizes its story. I expected more choices to make this aspect of the game interesting, but there's only one such choice to be found and I don't believe it has any bearing on how the story unfolds (I believe said choice exists as an accessibility option more than anything, which I can appreciate). The game only lets you in on the plot through emails, with your character's day-to-day life and conversations being implied rather than directly shown to you. It's a neat way to tell a story, but I would have liked to see more on-screen development to see how the main character reached her (admittedly, heartwarming) decision by the end of the game.
i learned a lot about mortician stuff and it was very nice and relaxing to go through!
Aside from the subject matter, wasn't really all that interesting. Learning about different customs and other stuff related to the profession is highlight of the game, but there's also a lot of text that could be skipped and the gameplay doesn't do much either.
A Mortician's Tale delivers very concisely a striking series of vignette-things centered around a mortician's day job. There are some weird things going on. The game in some sense functions as an argument against the embalming process, which is cool as long as that isn't associated with some online political ideology yet? In an ideal world AMT would take after something like Papers Please, and use seemingly banal gameplay to really get into the shoes of an unconventional vocation. What we get instead is bittersweet and effective but lacking.
It has an interesting message and discusses an often unexplored topic. Sadly, the only argument for this to be a game and not an animated short is its spin on Minesweeper, seeing how the game keeps holding your hand on every step of the way.
This game made me want to leave my body in its opening segment, as disgusted as I was to learn and perform the clinical tasks of caring for a dead body, but it made me more comfortable with facing that reality, and that inevitability, through repetition and interactivity, which is quite an accomplishment! Unfortunately, little else here works from the blocky art style to the narrative’s resolution of its correct observation of capitalism’s trajectories towards death with the creation of another company. Profound in one of one’s component parts but ultimately frustrating as a holistic text.
i could see how someone could really like it but it personally didn't resonate with me much. chad's pretty hate-able though so the game gets some points for character writing
Not as much a game as an interactive first person lesson on the process of embalming or cremation. It's emotionally and effective, and got me to research the death industry and think about how I want my body to be treated after I die. The standard method is, as this game demonstrated, horrible. One of my favorite sections was listening to the scattered opinions of the mourners at the funeral (you can't move on until you've payed respects for the person whose body you've just prepared). They are sad, funny, or nonchalant, giving a look at the range of reactions people have to death. One of the last funerals is for an unidentified homeless man, and the memorial is empty. I was shocked, and spent a moment honestly mourning.
While its gameplay is very repetitive, it's to the game's benefit as it's an excellent look into the funeral industry, even later commenting on the industry and its exploitation of people in a state of loss and despair for financial benefit vs. people who genuinely wish to help send off lost loved ones with care and respect for those left behind. Or even in one instance, with no loved ones left behind just done in honor of the person that passed.
This is one of those "it's not a game so much as an experience" and it's worth checking out.
The artstyle is cool on the eyes if a little too simple for its subject matter i feel.
A Mortician's Tale can be completed in under an hour, and while some mechanics can be repetitive and slow, it does bring to light some thoughts surrounding death. This game is not made for riveting gameplay, but it does present some interesting technology and issues in the "death industry".
gameplay is dull, writing is poor, and the cutesy ultra feminine aesthetic doesn't mix well with admittedly interesting subject matter.
Aprecio lo didáctico que es y como trata de naturalizar la muerte y darle está visión más rutinaria.
Pero, a nivel mecánico es simplón, a nivel narrativo nada del otro mundo y, a nivel emocional... no me ha llegado.
Pero, a nivel mecánico es simplón, a nivel narrativo nada del otro mundo y, a nivel emocional... no me ha llegado.
Short and not really replayable but it's runtime has a pretty good story to tell. The ending is just a little too gimmicky and feels off compared to the rest of the tone though.
Doesn't really have that much to say in the end.
something i think this game does really well is reveal the politics of an industry that i never really thought about before but obviously must exist. how, like in every industry, capitalism strangles the humanity out of everyone involved, the workers and the people who should be grieving with dignity and peace of mind; how our most popular and profitable methods of funeral are damaging to the environment but those damages are ignored for the sake of profit; how the same systems that manipulate us into spending as much money as possible on services both essential and frivolous dressed up in the language of care are the same ones that warp our perceptions of how our bodies should be valued and how we think about them in life and in death. this stuff is portrayed in deeply upsetting ways that feel very true to me and i'm sure anyone else who's ever found themselves enveloped and chewed up by a corporate system.
the game explores other elements of the death industry that are fascinating and difficult and hopeful in equal measure. exploring the push and pull between a funeral's place as being for the departed and for the people they leave behind. exploring modern and alternative types of funeral services. education about the legal realities of funerals, and the ways people who work in the death industry may be compelled to disrespect the wishes of the deceased in varieties of ways.
sometimes i think the game's point of view when discussing and in one case (the chapter that addresses suicide) depicting some issues is overly narrow and a little clumsy, but in a game whose aim is to be broadly educational about a subject that is both wide-ranging and relatively obscure i think that sort of shallowness is forgivable in the long view.
the game's position as explicitly death-positive and its mission statement of trying to expose a different, more human side of the concept of death and funerals is great, imo, and it works, and i think it's smart that it does that while still being critical of the ways the larger systems of the industry fail people and communities.
clearly the devs at Laundry Bear are passionate and knowledgeable and packed a lot to chew on into a brief, pleasant playable package. i was glad i finally got around to this one.
Short game with a surprisingly touching story, it explores a lot of interesting topics during its short runtime. I wish the gameplay was a little more varied, but most of the game is just reading anyways and it's not that long, so not a huge complaint.
This review contains spoilers
I wish the worst in life for Chad Grant.
I initially found this game quite jarring - I've had to stop playing a couple of times in the past, but I just knew it would be rewarding in the end. So I sat down with the intention to play the bulk (if not all of it) tonight, and I'm thrilled to say that I DID and I wasn't wrong! While the difficult subject matter was never particularly easy to broach, the game and death as a whole became more a matter of intimacy and kindness.
I agree with the few reviews who state that there are a some instances of plots that are not effectively explored, but given the briefness of the game as a whole I think the fact these moments are included at all lead to sufficient provocation of thought. The game is exploring one element of a business that folks were just getting used to when the game was released in 2017. So, one can't expect the game to cover every element of the ethics of the death industry in complete detail. We're growing and the ability to talk about issues like these is becoming more and more accessible, and if this game makes someone wonder about the death industry then that is enough because people like Caitlin Doughty exist who have created incredible learning platforms for those curious about death positivity.
All in all, I feel happier knowing that this game is available for people to play! Now I need to go and kiss my cat and tell him that I love him so, so, so much.
Short game about the job of a mortician, I learned a lot about the embalming and cremation process
This is a delightful (sort of) look into the funereal industry and contains lots of interesting details. Really might make you stop and consider what you want to happen to you once you pass.
But it's not very long and there aren't any choices, so once you're done you're probably done. But I picked up on sale at a very decent price, so I'm fine with it.
But your mileage may vary.
Informative, educational and slightly inspiring.
a fitting and thoughtful meditation on death. well done.
I really enjoyed this short experience. I learned a lot, it made me cry and left me with a lot to think about. One of my favourites from the racial justice bundle!