It’s been a great couple years for unlikely games based on beloved comic characters. Not the obvious superhero comics—I’m talking about a couple much more surprising adaptations, like last year’s Crayon Shin-chan life sim on Nintendo Switch and the upcoming Snufkin: Melody of Moominvalley, which just got a nice spotlight during the Wholesome Direct.
Why aren’t more videogames based on 1940s Finnish picture books, anyway? I can’t answer that, but I can say: I think they should be.
Snufkin: Melody of Moominvalley is based on the Moomins, a family of soft, round characters dreamed up by Finnish artist and writer Tove Jansson many decades ago. They’ve starred in books, comics, animated shows, and movies over the years, but this is the first time I’ve seen a Moomin game that really captures the style and texture of Jansson’s art. Like many games at the Wholesome Direct, it looks downright cozy, but I appreciate it’s not yet another life sim.
Melody of Moominvalley is more of an exploration and puzzle game, where you play as the Moomins’ friend Snufkin, who has sort of an elven adventurer vibe. Likes traveling solo, communes with nature, yada yada. “It’s a musical adventure game about restoring harmony and valley to Moominvalley and protecting it from the industrious Park Keeper,” the developers explain in the video above.
Snufkin also played a big role in my first introduction to the Moomins, the Japanese anime film Comet in Moominland (the Moomins are big in Japan for reasons unknown to me). It’s a cute film, and this new game has inspired me to watch some recently fan translated episodes of the of the 1970s Japanese Moomin cartoon. By the time Melody of Moominvalley is out next year, maybe I’ll have watched enough of the series to be able to properly explain what a Moomin is.