The Deer God blends an awful lot of genres. It's a platformer, roguelike, RPG, endless runner, and adventure all rolled into one.
You play as a dead hunter who gets mauled by wolves shortly after shooting a poor deer. You're then reincarnated as the very animal you slaughtered and given an opportunity to redeem yourself by the Deer God.
And that involves running across a gorgeous pixelated 2D landscape, leaping across chasms, completing quests for a variety of characters, and headbutting any animals that try and stop you.Cradle to the grave
You start the game as a faun and, eventually, grow into a full-grown deer by 'leveling up'. Each time you progress to a new stage of development your running speed, jumping ability, health, and attack damage increase.
It's unclear exactly how this progression is triggered though, as it just seems to happen randomly while playing.
As a result , you tend to avoid taking risks like fighting enemies or exploring difficult-to-reach locations.Control issues
A joystick on the left moves the deer and two buttons on the right let you jump and attack. Alternatively, you can swipe to attack.
The problem is, neither of these control options are responsive enough and you'll resort to hammering or frantically swiping as soon as you see an enemy.
Platforming sections are also frustrating. You'll often find that you can't see the platform you're trying to aim for and fall to a horrible, spiky death.
Other times the platform is visible but absolutely tiny, or you'll mistake a platform in the background as a safe place to land and die instantly in a pit of spikes instead.
The Deer God takes its cues from roguelikes, so progression is completely reset once you die so it's incredibly frustrating when death isn't your fault.Godlike?
There's an excellent idea at the heart of The Deer God but the execution is disjointed and poor.
The visuals may be excellent but the combat and platforming sections are unplayable, and lead to frustrating death after frustrating death.
In a game where death is as punishing as it is here, you're not likely to continue playing after dying.
You may even avoid combat and platforming entirely which begs the question - why am I playing this again?