The Magnificent Trufflepigs is an indie story-heavy adventure game, developed by Thunkd and published by AMC. It launched June 2nd, 2021 for the Nintendo Switch and PC. As soon as you begin the game, a few things are very apparent. It is incredibly beautiful. You play on an abandoned countryside farm in a fictional rural town called Stanning. The site is being sold to new owners, and it’s your last chance to explore the decades-old site till it’s likely destroyed. You spend all of your time traveling around various fields, using a metal detector to hunt for possible treasure. Every day during the week Adam checks out a new section with your metal detector. The fields are green, full of plants, and have lots of little details sprinkled everywhere. The skies are blue, there is a lovely breeze, and calm music instantly creates a relaxing atmosphere. Every time you find something in the ground it’s a little exciting to see what you get even if it’s mostly junk.
Unfortunately, there is a lot of unskippable constant talking. There are no options to turn off voice acting or to even speak a dialogue box you have read. You have to listen to the voice actor speak the entire line before you can continue. This wouldn’t be so bad if there wasn’t a lot of speaking, but there are entire essays worth of dialogue taking place for any given cutscene. To the point where I’d say 40% of your time is spent playing, and 60% sitting unable to do anything as you listen to people talking. Luckily, an entire playthrough is 4 hours at most so it isn’t unbearable, but even in this short time, there are many moments where the game feels like such a drag.
Almost every single time you do discover with your detecting, it’s immediately followed by another entire unskippable section of the characters talking. All of it is entirely unskippable, and half of the time they are talking about a rusty nail you found in the ground. The entire experience could be summed up as listening to an audiobook while walking around a pretty field. There is still a lot of appeal in this though, many people love video games that are incredibly story-heavy or that are mostly rooted in text, like visual novels. Just be prepared that if you don’t like plot drive games or calm slow-paced experiences you likely will not enjoy this game.
Half of The Magnificent Trufflepigs is spent walking around, and the other half is listening to the story. It takes place between two characters who we never see but hear talking to each other constantly. So how is the story? Incredibly mixed, as much as the rest of the game. The two characters are fleshed out, they feel like real people with a real relationship that is complex. The actors also do a great job playing their roles and playing off each other. You play as a man named Alex, and an old friend named Beth calls after a long period of ghosting and begs for your help at the old farm. When she was young she found a diamond earring her father sold for some cash, and she wants to find the other one in an attempt to return to simpler times. Over a week you learn about Adam and Beth’s pasts and many of Beth’s current internal conflicts. There are also intriguing details you can uncover or that are hinted at through the story that keep things interesting. It’s not groundbreaking or fantastic, but it is a nice well-contained story that’s well written and only takes a single afternoon to complete.
Overall, The Magnificent Trufflepigs has relaxing calm gameplay taking place in a quiet beautiful country setting. Spending your time roaming around discovering little pieces of treasure in the ground is always a little exciting. Even if the things you find aren’t particularly valuable. There are many sections of listening to the story taking place, and if story-heavy or long sections of unskippable voice-acted dialogue sound awful then give this game a skip. I am the opposite, I like unique relaxing games, and I love plot-driven games a lot. Given the shorter playtime of 3-4 hours, this game was a fun way to spend an afternoon exploring a beautiful environment and somewhat interesting story. If you want to relax and play a low-stakes easy game for a day or two, this might be a good pick-up at a reasonable price for what you get.
Score: 7 out of 10
Reviewed on Steam