Review: Search for Metal and Meaning in The Magnificent Trufflepigs

Screenshot: The Magnificent Trufflepigs

It looks like AMC Games is continuing its game publishing efforts in earnest—and I, for one, am excited for the prospect of quality narratives being commonplace in video games. But what we’ve gotten so far is Airplane Mode, a game where you’re a passenger on an hours long flight with gameplay that’s akin to Desert Bus, and now The Magnificent Trufflepigs, where you walk around a field metal detecting. Now, these aren’t Better Call Saul or Breaking Bad, nor did I expect them to be, but while The Amazing Trufflepigs does a good job of having an engaging narrative, it fails to have gameplay that is very engaging.

The Magnificent Trufflepigs is an adventure game where you control a person using a metal detector. Your goal is to find an earring, a match to the one your protagonist Beth found when she was out metal detecting as a child. You control Adam, lifelong friend and confidant—someone who Beth has used to figure out her life a few times. Adam is tasked with searching the same field for an earring that may or may not be there while Beth and Adam discuss Beth’s life, job, relationship and what she should do next with her life. This takes place over the course of a week or so, and while you’re not walking around trying to find metal junk in the ground, Adam and Beth have conversations about Beth’s life, and what might be best for her.

Screenshot: The Magnificent Trufflepigs

The Magnificent Trufflepigs is a small but personal game. It’s not about aliens, zombies, the post apocalypse or any number of video game tropes. In fact, it’s surprisingly refreshing that it’s just so different that normal video game fare. But at the same time, it’s just not very fun. The most gameplay you can expect is unearthing an object so you can take a cell phone picture to send to Beth. It should be mentioned that you never actually see Beth or any other character models.

Since the game is all about the story, and Beth’s life, I’d love to say that it was engaging enough to stay to the end, but it’s not. There are a few bits of intrigue thrown in—stories about a potential killer who used to stalk the field you’re in, or even questions about the nature of Beth and Adam’s relationship. I’m not going to spoil anything, but despite wanting to see the story through to the end, the payoff was ultimately disappointing. Perhaps if the metal detecting part was any fun, but if anything, finding junk in the ground feels like an obstacle to get through so you can hear the next bit of dialogue.

Screenshot: The Magnificent Trufflepigs

If you’re a fan of “walking simulator” type adventure games, The Magnificent Trufflepigs might interest you. But it’s the most “walking simulator” out of the bunch. The metal detecting mechanic just isn’t very fun. And the story, while interesting, didn’t feel interesting enough to waste time walking around a field to get to the pay-off.

The Magnifcent Trufflepigs is available tomorrow on Steam.




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