Reviews from

in the past


a lovely experience with some surprisingly emotional beats. I only wish that there was more of it, especially the last segment of the game, which was kind of abrupt compared to the previous ones. the game uses its detail well, teaching you about the process of body preparation as well as other aspects of the funeral industry while still staying accessible.

While playing through some longer RPGs, I longed for a short little 'snack' in between. A Mortician's Tale looked like the ideal candidate thanks to its short run time (30 minutes of my 2 hours with this game I have optionally spent with its rendition of Minesweeper) and its interesting theme.
In this game you play Charlie, who joins a family-owned funeral home as a Mortician. The game spans about a year and you 'spawn' once a month or two, go on your computer to read some optional e-mails from colleagues, friends and prior 'customers', and also to see the mandatory e-mail that tells you what your task for the day is. You either ready bodies for closed-casket (you just have to clean them) or open-casket funerals (much more tasks involved) or you cremate them, based on the families wishes.
These tasks are rather simple and each step is carefully explained every time, so the goal is not to do it right, it's just to do it.
I know nothing about funeral homes, so I appreciated the game for showing me how they operate, how different requests are handled, about the environmental effects of embalming versus green burials, and about corporations that exploit both employees and customers even in this business.
Apart from that however, the game doesn't really manage to be emotionally impactful regarding its main character, which has no dialogue lines during the game. Anything she feels and thinks about her job, about how she handles it and anything else that could bring the players closer to her, doesn't exist, which I thought was a shame.
So while I appreciated the game for its topic, it doesn't succeed in being more than a tutorial/showcase for the 'industry', and I'm not sure if there was any intent to do anything beyond that.

A comfy and monotonous (in a good way) game that makes you think more about life. It's simple and sweet

this is an incredibly comforting game, despite its subject. it really helped me to deal with my aunt's death and to find some peace with it.

At some point, growing up, I developed a fear of dead bodies. I've always been afraid of death, ever since I was young. But, the development into being unable to touch the body of a dead fly came later, a fear I'm still unsure the origins of. It's a fear that caused me to put off playing this game for some time - despite now owning it from many bundles.
The game treats death with a lot of care. As Charlie, your job is to prepare the bodies for the funeral - whether this is through cremation or embalming. The graphics are simplistic, not shying away from the medical nature but not marvelling needlessly in it either. The bodies don't show any injuries from how they died, and the use of blood is minimalistic. It doesn't treat tragedies as a source of entertainment.
The game holds your hand through each step, not allowing you to go wrong. I didn't mind this, but it may eliminate the feeling of 'gameplay' for others. The use of colour to guide your eye is well executed, and the UI and controls are minimal and easy to understand.
The game consists of a few stages for each day you play. You can check your emails, as well as an extra tab on the computer (one of these days involving a Minesweeper esq minigame.) Upon accepting the job, you prepare the body. After this, you move to the funeral, where you can listen to their loved ones and pay respects.
The story throughout the game is interesting, and one reflective of real life. I knew where it would likely end up. I found myself engrossed into the snapshots of other people's lives at the funerals, however. Learning from only a brief moment their relationships, their worries or fears.
It's a very poignant game, yet a gentle one. I think I've come away with a better understanding of death and the process, and a respect for this.

you play as a mortician, simply put. you don't just process bodies and send them on their way -- you learn their names, you meet their families and learn who they were as people, because they were people.
it is a heavy experience for being only a few hours long. i know it made me think about things for a while.

very cute little game :) and educational! i learned so much within the short hour and a half i played it, from all the processes that go into embalming and cremating, to the environmental impact of these, to greener alternatives that i never knew about, such as water cremation (which saves 66% electricity and reduces carbon dioxide emissions by 90% compared to regular flame cremation)! also, it is very decidedly anti-capitalist, which is always a big plus in my book hehe.
the thing i think i found most helpful about this game though is the "death-positive" spin it takes. to get personal for a moment, death has always been something that terrifies me. it is a very large source of my anxiety.
this game doesn't force you to be death-positive. many people you speak to in the game will be devastated by the loss of their loved ones. articles you read will remind you that, while you aren't personally tied to any of the deceased people, this is a traumatic time for the families and friends, and there are protocols to take to best offer your condolences.
however, the way the main protagonists speak about the topic is really refreshing. they try to show us that death doesn't have to be a terrifying thing, that in some cultures it is celebrated with song and dance. that the purpose of life isn't death... it's life! it's about making real connections with people, taking steps to live the life you want to (even if that means risking stability), and, hopefully, doing your best to leave this world a better place than you found it.
i highly recommend giving this game a try, obviously! it's very very wholesome :)

An educative and somewhat poetic experience that doesn't overstay its welcome. As simple as gameplay is, there is something to be said about performing those actions nevertheless. Staring at the dead body, cleaning it, massaging it, watching it oscillate between object and someone else's loved one.

This is an incredibly short game that's very light on gameplay, which is going to turn some people away right off the bat. There is a genuinely touching message at the heart of Mortician's Tale though, and with a playtime of only an hour, you're not losing much by giving it a whirl.

This review contains spoilers

very cool of the homeless man's funeral to make me cry like that