Wandersong Reviews

  • FejerFejer1,670,004
    12 Apr 2022 27 Jul 2022
    2 0 0
    "Wandersong" is a cheerful 2D platform adventure game where you play as a singing bard trying to stop the end of the world.

    It's a very lighthearted story. The game starts with a dream where the bard is told by a godly spirit that the world would end but it can be saved with the help of the Earthsong. So the bard begins his epic journey to find the Earthsong. During the story you will meet all kinds of interesting characters and you need to help some of them to progress. In one town they need your help to get rid of ghost, in another you need to assemble a music band, in another location you travel with a bunch of pirates searching for mermaids. Each location has it's own sub-plot and quirks. The deeper you get in the story the more complex the plot gets. The main goal in each location is to get access to the spirit world where you need to find the Overseer of that world to learn a part of the Earthsong. Early in the game you will meet a grumpy witch called Miriam which will accompany the bard on his journey and is an interesting character with the opposite mood to the bard's cheerful attitude.

    In a side-scrolling manner you control the bard to move left and right with the left stick cn_LS and jump with the A button cn_A or by pressing up on the left stick cn_LSu. The main ability of the bard is to sing, this can be done either with the right stick cn_RS or the d-pad cn_dpad. Each direction you press the right stick let's the bard sing in a different musical note and with this singing ability you need solve puzzles. In some cases you need to repeat the notes from an animal or a boss fight, in other cases you use the right stick to have a plant grow into a specific direction and in some cases you need to follow a note sequence similar to Guitar Hero. Fortunately there is no penalty for failure: If you press something wrong you just need to try again and if for example you fall off a platform you will return to the edge in a second. Additionally the bard can dance with the Y button cn_Y and you can learn new dances from a masked traveler but from what I noticed the dances have no impact on the game (apart from being a nice collectible).

    Personally I think that the visuals are the biggest downside of this game. The 2D graphics have a distinct look with bright and colorful but very simple polygon-based 2D objects making everything look like scenes handcrafted by kids with sugar paper. Some of the characters look charming but the bard has a simple and bland look. It looks like a game that could have easily run on a Nintendo 64 or the first Playstation. In some of the later sections it's quite hard to tell what's a background and what is a platform that you can jump on and I had a bit of an issue navigating the levels.

    I can only guess the game's kid-friendly visuals was designed to communicated that often the simple things in life can turn out to be great, but after finishing The Artful Escape - a similar game which has stunning visuals but bland gameplay - you can only image what Wandersong's epic journey might have looked like with more budget on the visual front.

    At least the soundtrack is decent with some catchy tunes. My personal highlight is when you use singing to travel on a pirate ship and the whole crew sings along.

    I bought the game on a sale under the impression that it's a quick completion but decided to play it the regular way after learning that for the quick completion you use a cheat code to select specific levels for the achievements. After finishing the game in around 14 hours (I spent a lot of time talking to every character that I could find) I am happy to have played the game until the end. I enjoyed every minute and I think it has good story and clever gameplay choices. Achievement-wise there are only a handful of missable achievements but you can easily get them if you follow the walkthrough.

    Personally I recommend the game to everyone who enjoys 2D platform-adventures, an lighthearted story and can look past the very simplistic visuals.
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