One of the free games that is available through games with gold is The Deer God for the Xbox One. Seeing how the game is extremely 8 bit, I’m going to say that that this is a ID@Xbox game and for that I’ll give it some slack. The story of The Deer God is one that’s been told many of times. Two hunters in the woods, one goes to sleep and the other see’s a deer he wants to shoot, but as he goes to shoot the deer wolves attack him and he dies. When the hunter awakens he is in front of a huge deer head that tells him that to atone for his sins against the deer, he must now become a deer and pay off his debt.

The game starts you off as a small deer with a single jump and an attack move that’s just a ram motion. After walking left and right, I also found out that this game is a side scrolling platformer. Slightly to the right I encountered an adult deer that bestowed upon me the ability to double jump, and then that was it. There are three meters at the top left next to a symbol, but none of that is ever explained. After playing, one bar is for your attack and one is life, but the third one I’m still wondering about.The symbol on the left fills up as you walk and is how your increase in size, because as a deer your age rapidly for some reason. If you hit the menu button you see a meter that essentially reads good on one end and bad on the other. You actions determine what side you fall under, and what I mean by actions are who you kill. There are both good and bad animals walking around the game, but you should only kill the bad animals. If an animal has a heart appear above him, then he’s your friend. If an animal has a health meter appear above him, then you better attack them because they will attack you. If you die as a deer and you have more negative, then you’ll be sent back as a fox and will have to find bad guys to kill and then die again so you can be resurrected back into a deer. There are also other power ups you can get to help with life and even to achieve higher platforms.

While I was playing I encountered an old man who lost his monocle and a plethora of hungry animals who wanted nothing more than to attack me. There are items you can pick up by solving block pushing puzzles, but since they don’t tell you anything I have no idea what I earned. I also noticed if your big when you die you come back as a little deer, much like in Super Mario Bros. where you would always start small.I died a lot, but the lack of a life system allowed me to keep respawning. The only bad thing about re-spawning is that you’re essentially playing the same area over and over again each time. I only encountered one boss, but I didn’t have the right skill to kill him so I died a few times then continued past it. That was the one thing that bothered me, the wonder that if I passed something I wouldn’t be able to go back to it. The formation of mountains and the platforms you had to jump on all looked the same to me. The object of the game was to just move right and you’d find everything, but after a while things started looking identical. I’m a big fan of video game music and this game has some pretty soothing sounds that compliment you being in nature.

If this wasn’t a free game and I had the chance the demo it, I probably wouldn’t buy it. The game seems like one big art project that someone made available and the audience has no context for what’s going on.

By Taylor

Taylor is one half of Media Discord and resides in Orange County, CA. He grew up loving video games, comics and movies. His favorite game is Chrono Trigger and his favorite comic book character is Deadpool.

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