The first thing protagonist Frigg does upon arriving on the small Danish island of Elk is attend a party in a pub, a celebration for a long dead member of the community who ironically no one in attendance liked. Death has a way of sneaking its way into the game like that, an ever-present force Elk’s inhabitants navigate around, mostly by drinking lots of Tuborg and making the best of it all. Frigg actually came to Elk to help a friend of her father’s with some woodwork, but with everything else going on, making chairs was soon the furthest thing from everyone’s mind.
Instead, Frigg is the guest who helps take people’s mind off things or perform small tasks. These moments are depicted through some great minigames, like building a fantasy pub out of Legos or designing a squirrel trap (sorry, squirrels) in what’s otherwise a narrative-focused game. The breadth of genres in those short games is really astounding – each would have been a lot of fun as a standalone.
Welcome to Elk’s plot takes place over a number of days, with a different event unfolding each day. Frigg’s experiences on the island are all inspired by true stories, stories the game integrates in a unique way – you can either read the stories as messages in a bottle, told by the real human beings who passed them onto the team, or you get to watch an almost documentary-style recounting of an incident. Neither may be entirely true – Elk simply gives you no way to know, even when it’s real people on screen seemingly recounting true experiences.