Learn Gaelic (Irish) With Montague's Mount
Highly anticipated indie adventure game, Montague's Mount, was released yesterday on Steam. A reworking of the original non-commercial game by Polypusher - a one man production company that consists of sole developer Matt Clifton - it now boasts new story elements and an improved UI.
But when we talk about "localisation", we usually talk about making a game appropriate for specific international audiences. In some ways, Montague's Mount does the reversal of that, by not shirking from it's Irish setting, using actual Gaelic (Irish) words as integral a part of gameplay as the brilliant narration from Derek Riddell, aka Stuart from Ugly Betty.
Not Lost in Translation
Clifton's use of Gaelic is an inspired choice for the game, which has been nothing but lauded for its artistic vision and dedication to creating atmosphere. Part of this success was refusing to water down or universalise its use of language, which would have caused it to forsake the fact that you are on a remote Irish island.
Mousing over objects, you'll notice that the first thing to catch you eye is the Gaelic word for it. The English translation is provide in small lettering underneath it: almost unnoticeable. Sometimes words on signs, and the like, will not be translated until you mouse over them, if at all. To us, this compounds the sense of the amnesia and unease of your character, finding yourself in an unfamiliar world in more ways than one. But because of this, Montague's Mount has therefore become an accidental dictionary for a lesser known world language.
However, being an educational tool certainly doesn't seem like Clifton's premise, as you quickly forget the alien nature of the words for the strangeness and unsettling feel of the game. Having played the demo at Eurogamer Expo 2013, we can definitely vouch for it being an incredibly tense, rich, and chilling adventure game experience; like if Guillermo del Toro had made Myst.
But because of this, it's been heralded as the first video game to really promote the original mother tongue of the Emerald Isle, which, whilst less used than in ages yore, is still widely spoken and closely cherished across Ireland.
If you're looking for an exquisitely crafted and creepy adventure experience, and/or looking to get to know more about Gaelic or brush up on your vocabulary, then Montague's Mount is the perfect game.
Montague's Mount is available to purchase now from Steam. The Oculus Rift version will be available in Spring 2014.