Developed by Thunkd and published by AMC Games, The Magnificent Trufflepigs is a first-person story about two friends who reconnect on an old farm in search of a lost treasure. Players take on the role of Adam and return to his childhood village of Stanning to help his friend Beth, who learns that the old farm will be demolished and wants to find the lost earring.
The setting for The Magnificent Trufflepigs is the rolling beauty of the English countryside. The main mechanic of the game is that the player uses a metal detector to search various areas of the farm in search of earrings. What’s interesting about the game’s design is that the player doesn’t actually see Adam and Beth in person. They’re voiced by Arthur Darvill and Luci Fish, and the game does a great job of making sure players can connect with them without seeing any of the character designs. The first-person view doesn’t require the player to know what Adam looks like, but even when the characters meet, the game chooses to take wide-angle landscape shots around the car they’re in.
Excavating in the field can be a bit repetitive as it is the same process over and over again. The player pulls out the metal detector, walks slowly until it beeps crazily, scoops up the item with a shovel, finally scoops it out of the dirt with a trowel, and sends the photo to Beth. However, getting into the hills of Stanning and its bright atmosphere is quite relaxing. It makes sense that players don’t go very fast when using a metal detector, but it’s also a bit frustrating. A slow walk can only be frustrating, as there seems to be more to discover in each field than there was in the day. Each day the player switches to a new area, so this gives the player a sense of wondering what’s been missed and if there’s something important.
This criticism isn’t that the metal detector mechanic is annoying–in fact, it delivers on the game’s relaxing promise. Players simply walk around the field until they find something and dig it up. However, where The Magnificent Trufflepigs really shines is in its narrative and storytelling. The combination of the two actors who embody their characters, coupled with the mystery of what actually happened in Beth’s life, keeps players hooked. Beth and Adam talk a lot throughout the game, which helps drive the story forward and gives the player a sense of the dynamic between the two of them and how things have changed. However, all of their talking gets in the way of metal detection, meaning players can get frustrated with unfound metal items.
Conversations between Adam and Beth paint a true picture of how close they used to be and what happened to their relationship. That being said, the player doesn’t know much about Adam’s life, as he’s more of a moral compass when it comes to Beth’s life. There’s nothing wrong with this setup, especially since Beth is the real focus of the game, but it would be interesting to learn more about Adam. It’s also nice to not only experience the conversation between Adam and Beth, but to have the opportunity to choose certain responses and help guide Beth in some way. It might be small, but it’s enough to keep players more engaged and invested in The Magnificent Trufflepigs.
While it might not be immediately noticeable, players can take pictures of certain parts of the environment and send them to Beth. Instead of texting back, she starts a conversation over the walkie-talkie, further immersing the player in the relationship. Another detail that feels very symbolic is the weather change throughout the magnificent Truffle Pig. In the beginning, the weather was sunny and beautiful, but as time passed, it became darker as the storm set in. It’s incredibly symbolic of how Beth opens up and lets Adam see the less-than-perfect sides of her life, and it’s all over for the player to help Beth navigate them.
Overall, The Magnificent Trufflepigs is a memorable story and lighthearted game that players can engage with without feeling overwhelmed or rushed. From start to finish, it’s a delightful, immersive story of two friends reconnecting and trying to make sense of the life one of them has led. Players won’t regret checking out The Magnificent Trufflepigs.
The Magnificent Trufflepigs launches on Steam on June 3rd. Game Rant obtained the PC code for this review.