Mosaic Review – The Absurdity of Life

Mosaic gives meaning to the meaningless; it is existential nihilism in digital form. It is important that you actively witness the life of the silent protagonist and not just passively experience it. Mosaic is nihilistic, not only because the protagonist’s life is an idle mill of work and sleep, but because it has no other meaning than the one you give him by direct action and the creation of interludes that interrupt the grind.

You go through a loop of waking up, going to work, fulfilling your duties, and then going home. Just walk along the corridors and interact with objects when prompted on the screen. Your actions and options in this cycle are limited to simple things like brushing your teeth and checking the messages on your phone, increasing the rigidity and absurdity of the situation. One of my favorite examples of this is when a potential appointment with a colleague fails. This can not be prevented but is accepted only in its delicious emptiness.

However, Mosaic is not just a dead-end game. As you travel through your daily routine, you may come across reveries that are looking out the window, stealing sunshine, listening to a street musician, or even controlling a butterfly. In these moments, the game is transformed. Color warms the screen and your senses are instantly invigorated. Of course, this is only possible because the game does a good job, first setting you in monotonous passivity before you break free. While these moments are not necessarily profound, I still could feel them.

Mosaic is also successful because it uses different perspectives on the game to represent the isolated, hollow existence of the character. You may become a miniature version of yourself or need to move the camera to navigate out of a short maze. These sequences have surprised me throughout my day and they are also appropriately disoriented without upsetting the players into frustrating game confusion. Instead, it feels like a person facing the realization that she does not know or understand how her life has become so depressing.

Even supposedly mundane tasks, such as the work you do at work, are fun, even though they are boring and unfulfilled in the world. Their job is to use resources in a hex grid to progress in the most efficient way to achieve the goals. This mini-game evolves only minimally by transporting resources faster and introducing inefficient opponents you need to quarantine. I’m looking forward to it in Mosaic because it covers the basic task fulfillment/goal attainment area of ​​my Game Lizard Brain. Similarly, I like to play Blip Blop, the simple clicker game on my character’s mobile, even though it’s a comment on our inherent pull on playing games just because the upgrade feels good no matter how nude it gets. In fact, I wish Mosaic had taught me the gameplay and the rabbit holes in the world (it’s not a long title), like the minigame of my job and the dating apps of his dead end.

Some games are power fantasies that revel in the exhilarating exercise of control. Mosaic does not make you powerless, but by wrapping you in the mindlessness of the protagonist and making you understandable, the game amplifies the impact and meaning of the power you have. Life may indeed be meaningless, but Mosaic is here to give you pleasure.

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