It’s been a great couple of years for unlikely games based on beloved comic book characters. Not the obvious superhero comics – I’m talking about some much more surprising adaptations, like last year’s Crayon Shin-chan Life Sim (opens in new tab) on Nintendo Switch and the upcoming Snufkin: Melody of Moominvalley, which just got a good spotlight during the Wholesome Direct.
Because they are not more video games based on Finnish picture books from the 1940s anyway? I can’t answer that, but I can say: I think they should be.
Snufkin: Moominvalley’s Melody (opens in new tab) is based on the Moomins, a family of smooth, round characters dreamed up by Finnish artist and writer Tove Jansson many decades ago. They’ve starred in books, comics, animated series and movies over the years, but this is the first time I’ve seen a Moomin game that truly captures the style and texture of Jansson’s art. Like many games on Wholesome Direct, it seems frankly cozybut I appreciate that it’s not a life simulator anymore.
Melody of Moominvalley is more of an exploration and puzzle game where you play as the Moomins’ friend Snufkin, who has a sort of elven adventurer vibe. He likes to travel alone, commune with nature, yada yada. “It’s a musical adventure game about restoring harmony and the Moominvalley valley and protecting it from the hardworking Park Keeper,” the developers explain in the video above.
Snufkin also played a big role in my first introduction to Moomins, the Japanese anime film Comet in Moominland (opens in new tab) (Moomins are big in Japan for reasons unknown to me). It’s a cute movie, and this new game inspired me to watch some episodes recently translated by fans of the Japanese Moomin cartoon from the 1970s (opens in new tab). When Melody of Moominvalley comes out next year, I may have watched enough of the series to be able to properly explain what a Moomin is.