I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not the most content with death – in fact, I’m terrified. Mortified. When I was recommended A Mortician’s Tale, the description stated it was a “death positive” game, which immediately intrigued me. My first thought was that my favorite activity (video games) could help me cope with a fear I live with daily.
The Not-So-Gruesome Side of Death
Developed by Laundry Bear games, A Mortician’s Tale explores the monotonous, mundane, and gruesome side of death in a not-so-disgusting way. You play as Charlie, a fresh-out-of-college mortician who’s ready to take on every aspect of working at a funeral home. Periodically, you receive emails from your boss, colleagues, and your best friend, Jen. At this desk is where you’ll find all of your tasks and receive all of the communication throughout the game.
A great narrative game that explores the last event we must face in life, there were things I liked and things I didn’t like about A Mortician’s Tale. The graphics were enticing, adorable, and helped with making the game’s atmosphere not seem as morbid as one may think, while the calming soundtrack added a nice ambiance when preparing the bodies.
Life’s Final Scene
I think this game was a fantastic stepping stone into this type of story, but could be improved on. As I was playing, I found myself wanting to perform the autopsies, or wanting to finish off the body with makeup preparations instead of sending them off, which minimized the playtime of the game even further. The game lasted no more than 40-50 minutes, and for $15.99, I was kind of upset that it didn’t offer more for the price. There were few bodies, and while it had a fantastic foundation with an intriguing game concept, A Mortician’s Tale could have used a bit more “umph” to complete the game.
*Potential spoiler alert*
Who knows, maybe we’ll get a sequel in the future where we work at Charlie’s new funeral home and combine forces with Jen’s pathology interest. Even though she seems to be going the green route, and we don’t think that we’ll be adding makeup to those corpses, learning the ropes of an autopsy would be a bit more compelling.
As for my fear of death, it hasn’t quite subsided, but with what I’ve learned about the end of life process in the funeral home, I definitely would opt for a caring mom-and-pop shop over a corporate-owned funeral home. Exploiting death for monetary gain is the lowest of the low – you should be ashamed of yourself, Chad Grant!