Skip to main content

Snufkin: Melody of Moominvalley is a light, but endearing enough kid’s game

Snufkin fishes off a dock in Snufkin: Melody of Moominvalley.
Raw Fury

If you’re looking for a new Switch game to play with your kids following titles like Bluey: The Videogame and Disney Illusion Island, get ready to meet the Moomins. Snufkin: Melody of Moominvalley comes to Switch and PC this week, giving the cartoon vagabond his own game. Developed by Hyper Games, the adventure title aims to capture the cartoon joy of Moomin, a Swedish children’s series, with some musical twists.

Though it’s not the most inventive adaptation, Snufkin: Melody of Moominvalley gets the job done as a good-natured game that parents can enjoy with their kids. Its a bedtime story come to life in suitably endearing fashion.

Snufkin: Melody of Moominvalley is a straightforward top-down adventure game that plays with the delightful series it’s based on. Players take on the role of Snufkin, the iconic wanderer, who sets off on a journey to save an adorable Moomin critter. It’s all presented with a cute storybook aesthetic that emphasizes the whimsical joys of its source material.

Nothing is terribly complex here, which is good news for young kids — even if it may bore parents a bit. Players are dropped into a small open world where they can wander around and complete tasks for an eclectic cast of characters. Exploration is the sole focus here, with light platforming hooks, a bit of environmental puzzling, and a little bit of stealth to sneak by some dastardly guards. There’s no combat; quests mostly revolve around simple fetch quests that offer a good excuse to pepper in some personality-filled characters.

A Park Keeper speaks in Snufkin: Melody of Moominvalley.
Raw Fury

Its one unique twist is that Snufkin gets three instruments during his travels that help open up the world. It’s a fun musical twist on paper but one that ultimately feels underutilized. Using an instrument is as simple as holding down or tapping a button near an obstacle to clear it. A flute can be aimed at bees to shoo them away, and a late-game drum helps break some branches in a forest escape scene, but that aspect is kept mechanically light in the four-hour adventure. If you want a similar game with a bit more meat, the excellent Wandersong checks a lot of its boxes in thicker ink.

Its music is a bit of a missed opportunity in general. One big selling point of the project is that it was set to feature music from Sigur Rós. While the Icelandic band delivers some great opening and closing tracks, the rest of the soundtrack opts for some mostly forgettable — and occasionally cloying — kids’ fare. It’s a small disappointment for an adventure with music at its forefront.

Snufkin plays a flute in Snufkin: Melody of Moominvalley.
Raw Fury

Complexity isn’t the goal here, though. Snufkin seems to be going for more of a light and kid-friendly adventure that plays more like an interactive storybook. Simple quests provide a good excuse to chat with characters like Little My, a fierce little girl who is a bit of a modern internet icon. Like its source material, it also lightly packs in some anti-authoritarian and environmentalist themes as Snufkin fights to liberate the valley from rule-enforcing Park Keepers. That gives it just enough maturity to give it some multi-generational appeal.

Though it is not the most exciting cartoon adaptation, Snufkin: Melody of Moominvalley is exactly what it needs to be. It’s a pleasant, warm-hearted adventure that doesn’t bog young players down with complicated controls. It’s a breezy little interactive cartoon that’s charming enough for a lazy Sunday morning.

Snufkin: Melody of Moominvalley launches on March 7 for Nintendo Switch and PC.

Editors' Recommendations

Giovanni Colantonio
Giovanni is a writer and video producer focusing on happenings in the video game industry. He has contributed stories to…
Nintendo Switch’s weirdest launch game is getting a surprise sequel
Key art for Everybody 1-2-Switch!

Nintendo has quietly announced Everybody 1-2-Switch!, a sequel to one of the oddest launch titles for Nintendo Switch.
1-2-Switch! was a Nintendo Switch launch title that served as a tech demo of sorts for the Joy-Con controllers, with players completing minigames based on direction from actors in live-action clips. It's a very quirky and critically divisive Nintendo Switch game, so it's a bit surprising to see a follow-up. According to the eShop listing for Everybody 1-2-Switch!, this game lets players use their Joy-Cons or smartphones to complete a variety of team-based minigames. And that's about all we've seen or know about this $30 game ahead of its June 30 launch alongside some new pastel Joy-Cons.

Everybody 1-2-Switch!'s announcement was quite unorthodox for Nintendo. It simply tweeted about the game's existence and opened up preorders on the eShop. This all happened with no reveal trailer less than a month before the game's launch. It's unknown why Nintendo's taking this approach instead of including the game in a Nintendo Direct or other major showcase, but a 2022 report from Fanbyte may reveal the answer. According to that report, Everybody 1-2-Switch! tested horribly, and Nintendo worried that the game could "damage the company’s reputation as a great software developer." 
Almost a year after that report, it seems that the game has improved enough to release, or maybe Nintendo is just willing to take the hit after the impressive launch and critical reception of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. Either way, this is a weird sequel to a weird Nintendo Switch launch game that's being mutedly marketed so it doesn't elicit much hype. We'll just have to wait and play it for ourselves if we want to know whether Everybody 1-2-Switch! is an enjoyable game or not.
Everybody 1-2-Switch! will be released physically and digitally for Nintendo Switch on June 30.

Read more
It’s the last day of Nintendo’s April Indie Sale — don’t miss these 7 great games
hades best builds key art new cropped hed 1244036

Nintendo just hosted an Indie World showcase and previewed some exciting indie games like Rift of the Necrodancer, Blasphemous 2, and Oxenfree 2: Lost Signals. While the Nintendo Switch has always been a first-party, AAA-title machine, it's also become an indie powerhouse over the years and is home to some of the best small games on the market. To celebrate its stream, Nintendo just launched a weeklong sale on some of its top indie titles, including all-time greats like Celeste and Hades.

The sale kicked off on April 19 and runs until April 26 at midnight PT. While you have a good week to browse, here are seven excellent deals that you'll want to take advantage of before time's up.
Celeste -- $5 (75% off)

Read more
Nintendo Switch loses an exclusive Square Enix game next month
A duel in the Wild West section of Live A Live.

Square Enix's beautiful HD-2D remake of Live A Live will no longer be a Nintendo Switch exclusive starting next month. The game comes out on PlayStation consoles and PCs on April 27.
Live A Live is a unique grid-based RPG with a fun narrative gimmick. Its story is split up into eight different sections set across eight different sections: Prehistory, The Middle Ages, Imperial China, Twilight of Edo Japan, The Wild West, Present Day, The Near Future, and The Distant Future. Each comes with its own protagonist and gameplay gimmicks before they all crescendo together in a final chapter.

On top of that, this remake of a 1994 SNES game also gives the experience an extreme visual facelift with the HD-2D visuals that make games like Octopath Traveler 2 shine. Digital Trends found the game charming, with George Yang saying Live A Live "has the hallmarks that make it a good entry in the genre" in his three-and-a-half star review of the title. 
In North America, Nintendo published the Switch version of Live A Live. Now that the game is coming to other platforms, though, Square Enix has taken back over. To promote the upcoming release, Square Enix has released a demo for Live A Live on PS4 and PS5 today, which lets players try some of the Twilight of Edo Japan, The Distant Future, and The Wild West sections of the game.
Live a Live is available now for Nintendo Switch and will be released for PC, PS4, and PS5 on April 27. PlayStation Plus members can currently preorder the game for a 20% discount as well.

Read more