Every now and again, the goddess Eya sings a song that resets the entire universe, bringing an end to life as we know it. That time is just around the corner, and people are resigned to their fate. But one special little bard is determined not to let the world end this time. Using his voice to help a colourfully quirky cast of characters and bring hope and positivity to the land, his goal is learn the mythical Earthsong which will stop the world ending.
Wandersong is a fairly simple game to get to grips with. Movement is controlled with the left stick, while the right is used to sing various coloured notes. The bard's voice is his only means of interacting with his surroundings, and everything reacts in different ways. Everything you do will usually involve either matching colours or repeating patterns, but the ways in which these mechanics are used lends a gentle but always pleasing puzzle element to the game. And there's no failure here - if you happen to mess something up the pattern will always repeat until you get it right, or if you “die” you'll immediately reappear at the start of the same screen, taking out any stress whatsoever and leading to an immensely calm and relaxing experience.
Looking like it's been made entirely out of paper, Wandersong's 2D world might be very whimsical but it never crosses the line into tweeness. The writing is especially strong – goofy, endearing, and often loaded with emotion, although it's never overbearing. The personalities of each character really shine through, and you find yourself desperately wanting to help everyone you come across. There's so much heart and warmth in the dialogue, and there's a fair chance you might find something in your eye on more than one occasion...
It's rare that a game even attempts to convey such a positive message as this. Wandersong breaks from convention in many ways, and consistently hits its marks in almost everything it attempts (minor niggle - the controls can become a little fiddly during some later puzzles). Enjoyable gameplay, a beautifully-designed world, and a funny and heartfelt story with something genuinely important to say, we're totally behind Wandersong and wish it all the success in the world. Pull out your biggest most comfortable jumper, snuggle up under your winter duvet, and save the world!
WANDERSONG / DEVELOPER: GREG LOBANOV / PUBLISHER: HUMBLE BUNDLE / PLATFORM: NINTENDO SWITCH (REVIEWED), PC / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW