Songbringer Review (Switch)
Songbringer was a game that called to me since we’ve first heard about it. A pixel graphic, procedurally generated Zelda-ish, Sci-Fi game? I mean it seems to have the right formula right? They aren’t too far off.
The gameplay is somewhat similar to what you would expect with Zelda-like games. You have a sword and collect other gadgets along with your travels throughout the game. Even hallucinogenic cacti. Yes, sometimes you just need a little high to solve puzzles. The biggest pull to this game is the procedurally created worlds and dungeons. The first time you play you will generate a seed which will make the game different through each play through. Which is great, but it’s just missing something. Maybe it’s the lack of supporting characters? The world, though beautiful and unique, lacked characters, or unique locations. I feel an extra character or key location within the map would have expanded on the lore a bit.
Combat isn’t anything groundbreaking, it’s your usual jump in, slash, then back out tactics. The bosses though will beat your ass without remorse. I will say that the dungeons being procedurally created feel much better than the open world. The enemies, like the bosses, can be ruthless. That level of difficulty is perfect. The puzzles within the dungeons aren’t brain-wracking, but they can be tough.
The graphics are the pixelated, thin character look. The world and dungeons stand out. They look really good. The art direction really sets the tone of the whole game they were aiming for. The shadowing and weather effects are quite amazing and give you that sense of environment. The movements of the characters and enemies were pretty smooth. Overall I really enjoyed the look of the game.
The story itself was a cactus trip, I was expecting fantasy yet out of nowhere sci-fi elements popped in and grabbed me. Right off, there isn’t much direction in the story, you the unlikely hero, stumble upon the sword and awaken evil. Yet you don’t really seem to care which. The humor of the game is fun and kept me entertained throughout the game.
With everything being randomly generated each time there should be some decent replayability to Songbringer. Honestly, it’s the only reason why there is any replayability. If everything was static, I’m not sure it would gather much steam. Speedrunners may enjoy the built-in ‘randomizer’ so having a race between friends would be a fun challenge as you can set the same seeds so everyone is on the same world.
Songbringer is fun and challenging. Unfortunately, the lack of a pulling force, supporting characters, more lore, something to that effect, will not grab every gamer. Songbringer is definitely worth checking out though if you have the slightest bit of interest, at $19.99 you’ll get hours of fun.
Note: GameOctane editor Ryan Welch received a digital code from the publisher for the purpose of reviewing this game. Any code or product intended for reviews is distributed to the team to review and stream for our audience.
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+ Graphics are detailed and environments are gorgeous.
+ Fun humor throughout the game
+ Enemies and bosses are challenging, yet fun
+ Procedural dungeons are awesome and make multiple playthroughs new and exciting
- Missing that pull to make you fall in love with the characters/world
- World generation seems to be missing the greatness of dungeon generation
- Wish a bit more sci-fi came through