Snufkin: Melody of Moominvalley review

by on March 7, 2024
Reviewed On
Also Tested On
Release Date

March 7, 2024.


After years of unexpected series revivals and shadow drops, I sometimes wonder how many huge surprises the video game industry has left for me. Well I certainly never expected to find myself reviewing a game based on The Moomins in 2024, but here we are. Snufkin: Melody of Moominvalley is more than just a Moomin nostalgia trip too, it’s got a whole lot of heart and just might make you think about your place on this big space rock we call home.

I have to admit, The Moomins and their various friends are characters I’ve largely avoided in my lifetime. As a child the bizarre hippo trolls just didn’t appeal to my cartoon tastes, seeming too old fashioned for my young mind to bother with. For many though The Moomins are cultural icons, created by Finnish writer and illustrator Tove Jansson to promote the importance of acceptance, friendship, and looking after the planet. Diving down the Google rabbit hole I discovered a whole load of lovely facts about The Moomins and their creator, and was excited to dive into Snufkin and see if I was destined to become a late in life Moomin fan.

Snufkin: Melody of Moominvalley

Snufkin: Melody of Moominvalley tells the story of the titular Snufkin, a wanderer of the world of the Moomins who stays in Moominvalley in the warmer months. When it gets colder though this mysterious nomad migrates to the south, and the Moomins look forward to his return each year. It’s after one such migration that the game begins, with Snufkin excited to meet up with his friend Moomintroll and share his traveling tales. Unfortunately that’s not how it pans out though, as life in the valley hasn’t been great over the last few months.

Since Snufkin left, The Park Ranger has been building parks full of rules and regulations all over Moominvalley with no regard for the nature that existed there before it. This didn’t sit right with Snufkin’s bestie, and he tried to convince this villain to stop damaging the environment. Since then he’s gone missing though, and it falls to Snufkin to find his friend and destroy a whole load of parks along the way.

You’ll spend most of your time in Snufkin: Melody of Moominvalley wandering around the gorgeous, colourful world on your quest to find Moomintroll. Little puzzles will often block your progress, and you’ll need to do things like place rocks in a river to cross it or knock down ladders to open a path in another direction. It’s all very simple stuff, but it makes exploring the sprawling valley for inspiration a little more engaging.

Snufkin: Melody of Moominvalley

You’ll need inspiration to level up your music playing ability, which plays a huge part in Snufkin’s adventure. As you progress you’ll gather three different instruments that you can use to affect the creatures of the valley, which each work slightly differently. Before you know it you’ll be banging a drum to move a frog out of the way or playing a harmonica to convince a worm to poke out and be used as a platform. This will only work if your inspiration level is high enough though, which means walking through all the pretty flowers and lush greenery you can find.

This probably all sounds very cutesy and charming, but there are also actual enemies to avoid in Snufkin: Melody of Moominvalley in the parks you need to get rid of. The Park Ranger has the police guarding his precious parks, and you’ll need to remove all the signs in the park borders to get them to clear off. In Snufkin all cops are bad, and you’ll need to stay out of their cones of vision to ensure you aren’t chased and caught by the corrupt law enforcement. In a lot of games stealth sections like this would put me off, but they’re implemented really well here, aren’t too punishing when you get caught, and most importantly are rounded off by a charming cutscene of Snufkin pulling paving slabs out of the ground and letting nature take over again. Who said being an activist was boring?

Snufkin: Melody of Moominvalley

More than anything it’s the charm that makes Snufkin a wonderful experience. The characters you meet are weird and wonderful, and often have little side quests to complete to keep things interesting. Most video games won’t task you with racing sticks down a stream and using fish to block your opponents wooden racer or ask you to help find missing clothes for an invisible person, but Snufkin does and it’s almost always a treat to do so. The little bits of variety mean you never feel bored playing a game that’s fairly light on gameplay, and I honestly struggled to put the game down.

As wonderful as Snufkin: Melody of Moominvalley is, there are a few negative aspects of the game. Most notable is the almost useless map, which gives you almost no idea of where you are and will almost certainly lead to you getting lost if you don’t play for a few days. The slow paced, relaxing pottering won’t appeal to everyone either, especially as your pathetic stamina bar runs out and constantly forces you to go slower.

Snufkin: Melody of Moominvalley is a gorgeous and charming game with a beautiful message about leaving nature alone. Wandering around the lush Moomin world, solving little puzzles and finding collectables is just lovely, and the characters you meet are both familiar and endearing. It won’t curb any cravings you have for arcade action or twitchy shooting, but as far as cozy gaming experiences go Snufkin: Melody of Moominvalley is one of the best.


A lovely world to wander around
Ridiculously gorgeous visually
Lots of little puzzles and side quests to keep you busy
Loads of familiar characters for Moomin fans


The map is poor
The stamina meter is just not necessary

Editor Rating
Our Score


In Short

Snufkin: Melody of Moominvalley completely surprised me, and thanks to its gorgeous world and varied activities is a top notch cozy game.