Genre: Adventure, Indie
Developer: Greg Lobanov
Publisher: Greg Lobanov
Release Date: Sep 28, 2018
Edited by KnightAvenger
Wandersong is not your typical game and may be unlike anything else you’ve played. It calls itself a musical adventure, and that’s probably the best way to describe it. It has elements from various genres but, at its heart, the musical aspect takes center stage.
It is set out at the beginning of the game that you’re just a bard, not a typical hero. You won’t be swinging a sword and slicing up the enemies. In fact, initially, you do not even want to be a hero; however, over time, you do decide you want to become one, proving yourself not to be just a useless singer.
The threat the world faces in this adventure is not a physical enemy but the threat of a song being sung which destroys and replaces the universe – apparently, something which happens naturally. Your quest is to learn a song which can save the world.
Singing is used as a mechanic for practically everything in this game. It’s often used for basic functions, such as matching the song a bird sings to make it get a boost jump or matching notes that an enemy sings to defeat them. There are platforming sections where you are singing to control which way you want the wind to push you. There are puzzle sections where you sing to tell platforms which direction you want them to move or operate mechanisms to unlock doors. There are cut scenes where you need to sing along with your bandmates. There’s even an area where you need to sing to control the direction of a pirate ship. The musical theme is definitely strong with this game.
The way the singing works is that a colored wheel pops up. You have to select the correct notes. Sometimes, it’s memorizing a few notes and singing them in the correct order. Sometimes, it’s matching timing. Sometimes, it’s just choosing the correct direction or using all the notes, as if spinning a wheel. This generally works quite well but can, at times, feel a bit difficult to be as accurate as needed.
Outside of singing your way around the world, there’s a colorful world to explore with over a hundred characters to speak to. There’s quite a lot of humor in this, too, such as quests ending in failure due to people not feeling like helping you and a troll asking for help with her boyfriend. The odd bits of fourth wall breaking add to the humor, too, like mentions of not having time for side quests and a character mentioning having backstory for you. The humor isn’t always amazing but does have its moments. It’s made me laugh out loud with some lines while most just give me a bit of a chuckle.
Wandersong uses a 2-D art style, which I personally find to be colorful and charming. It looks like it’s all cut out of vibrant colored paper, which makes for a distinct style. Surprisingly, there are quite a few animated cutscenes throughout, kept in the same art style.
The soundtrack is varied and fits the scenes very well. At times happy, at times sad. It conveys a sense of adventure or the panic the bard would feel. It’s certainly a strong point of the game, which, considering the theme, isn’t unusual.
Oddly, I had the occasional stuttering while playing the game. Not enough to affect the experience but quite odd, considering the very low demands this game puts on a system and the high specifications of my own. No other potential bugs were noticed and overall, the game worked well.
I would recommend Wandersong to anyone who enjoys a casual experience. This is, overall, a lighthearted and rather unique game. There were lots of little touches which would have been missing in many other games, even as small as being able to jump on the bed rather than it just being background. I enjoyed playing it quite a lot and came out much more impressed than I expected when I started this game.
- Fun, lighthearted comedy.
- Colorful vibrant world.
- Unique singing system.
- Great soundtrack.
- This game has a dance button.
- Can be slightly awkward to control the singing wheel at times.
Eden gives Wandersong a Drastik Measure of 9.0 out of 10.0 (90).
Wandersong is available on Steam for $19.99 (USD).
Many thanks to Greg Lobanov for the review copy.