Songbringer - PC/Steam Review

A modern style adventure with a retro style appeal.

Game Info

  • System: Windows
  • Publisher: Wizard Fu Games
  • Developer: Wizard Fu Games
  • Release Date: September 1, 2017 | September 5, 2017 [PlayStation 4]
  • Price:$19.99
  • Rating: E
  • Genre: Indie, RPG, Sci-Fi, Roguelike, Adventure
  • Players: Single Player
  • Official Website: http://songbringer.com/

Songbringer Beta Trailer

Who it Caters to

We all love our retro games, let’s face it. There’s just something so wondrous about being able to go back in time and relive a childhood memory, or perhaps it’s your first time embarking on such an adventure and it brings about new joys. This elysium is what Songbringer provides, a title that still retains a very modern appeal but recaptures a time when gaming was still evolving. Pixel graphics are becoming the norm in most modern indie titles and we assume because most of those behind the development wheel are those who grew up in the 8-16bit era. Much of the gameplay was constructed on a very basic level but the amount of depth and challenge the game provided made you overlook the visual standard of the time. Songbringer is an excellent example of this as it remains a very well structured and challenging title, but still creates its own unique appeal with its visual and even auditory appeal.

What to Expect

Anyone who grew up playing the likes of The Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past will surely find Songbringer to a reminder of how great that game was. There’s clearly a lot of influence that stemmed from that game and has been implemented beautifully in Songbringer. Whether it be the similar celebration mannerisms that occur when you collect a special item from a treasure box, or whipping out your sword and swinging it around to slay enemies around you, Songbringer is a brilliant reenactment of everything we’ve loved. Every stage you embark on is filled with mystery and wonder, with every enemy posing a different threat than the other. As you race around trying to find special items and health boosts to stay alive, these ruthless enemies will stop at nothing to make your experience a very daunting one. With procedurally generated open and linear worlds along with an assortment of other cool features, Songbringer is a beautiful title that will certainly challenge anyone who dares to test their skills in the art of swordplay.

Story

Your name is Roq Epimetheos, and along with your robot sidekick Jib the two of your travel across the vast lands in search for fun and excitement. The two stumble upon a mysterious cave in Ekzera and while inside they discover the illustrious Nanosword fastened into the ground in front of them. Roq’s curiosity peaks as he moves in closer for inspection and realizes the sheer beauty that stands before him. He pulls out the sword from out the ground in jubilance but unfortunately doing so has awakened an ancient evil, and so now Jib and Roq must now battle against this evil and restore peace before it devours them all.

Gameplay

We must give it up to Wizard Fu Games for being able to create such a remarkable title with very little under their belt. What we mean by this is that one mastermind is behind all of what you see here, and that’s an incredible feat. It’s very clear that the indie game market has grown exponentially over the years and we’ve seen a cornucopia of titles being released for just about every platform. Usually teams consist of a small group of talented individuals who all have their respective roles to concentrate on, but with Songbringer, only one man did the job and he did a spectacular one at that. With a roguelike influence clearly apparent in the gameplay, it really makes playing Songbringer a truly challenging ordeal. It combines RPG elements as well which provides you the depth, along with Zelda’s adventure style influence to always create fresh new experiences. Every corridor you open is filled with something fascinating but also very irritating. We of course aren’t using that term in a negative light with regards to the functionalities but rather, due to the challenging nature of the game you’ll almost always encounter some fatal moments.

You get irritated at the fact that you just weren’t prepared for what was coming directly towards you but then after a few attempts, it becomes much easier to deal with. That’s the fun aspect about Songbringer is that, there’s plenty of replayability and reward to obtain through playing for long periods. There’s something for just about everyone in the sense that, if you favor speedrunning this game rewards you heavily in that area, or if you just want that feeling of liberation after clearing a difficult boss battle it’s all there. Every dungeon is uniquely crafted in that there’s never a repeat of what you saw before and that gives the game a fresh appeal every time you begin a quest. We died a great deal while playing but just like any other roguelike experience, you brush off those losses and jump right back in hopes that you can finally overcome the demons that stand in front of you. Every puzzle is a stimulating one and encourages you to sometimes backtrack in order to gather certain hints that perhaps you may have overlooked. The scary part about that however is when you leave an area then return to it, some enemies may reappear and cause you even more of a headache because we’ll be honest, there were times when we came across a room only to be bombarded by a horde of unrelenting enemies and of course we got destroyed.

So being mindful at times can really be of great benefit especially when you’re unsure of what to expect. Songbringer implements a competitive vibe as well with its leaderboard system which goes hand-in-hand with its speedrunning influence, so anytime you feel like wanting to show off your swordplay in the rankings it’s all there for you. There’s no XP that you gain within the game and all of your progress is made by defeating large mobs, bosses, and collecting devices along the way. Given all the positives about the game we only found one gripe that really stood out and that was the controls. Swinging around your sword is meant to feel smooth and pristine but often times it felt a little clunky which made things feel a little off. It wasn’t a game changer in any way for sure, but it’s definitely something that could potentially see some improvement down the road should a patch come out.

Honey's Gameplay Consensus:

We really enjoyed Songbringer a lot and with its vast assortment of dungeons to discover, crazy boss battles to overcome, and hordes of enemies to slay, this game is definitely one of the better indie titles we’ve stumbled upon in recent months. We certainly recommend this to anyone who’s a fan of the throwback Zelda style with a very sci-fi feel to it which creates an even more robust experience. The very dark and grungy music really generates a unique feel and it permeates through your ears as you walk through every stage wondering what will happen next. Don’t sleep on this title because it’s worth your time and money in every possible way.

Honey's Pros:

  • Roguelike experience really takes the game to a new level of challenge.
  • Each gorgeous dungeon is uniquely created to give players a fresh experience every time.
  • Competitive additions with a leaderboard system.
  • Love the retro style appeal with a modern style feel.

Honey's Cons:

  • Just some of the animations felt clunky.

Honey's Final Verdict:

Songbringer officially releases on Steam tomorrow so be sure to put aside some of that cash so you too can enjoy the experience like we did. While it may certainly not be for everyone we still encourage you to give it a whirl because we guarantee it will entice you in more ways than one. Whether it be the wild yet methodical gameplay or just that nostalgic appeal, Songbringer is one title that resonates with you long after playing and that’s a good sign of a wonderful title. Be sure to catch us live on Twitch as we play a wide assortment of games, Songbringer included. If you want to keep up with all of the latest gaming updates then show us some love on Twitter and Facebook! We always love to hear from our fans and do our best to reach out to each and every one of you.

As always, for all things sweet, with news straight from Japan, be sure to keep it locked here on Honey’s Anime.

Rob

Editor/Writer

Author: Rob "NualphaJPN" B.

100% Vegan. A passionate fan of gaming, writing, journalism, anime, and philosophy. I've lived in Japan for many years and consider this place to be my permanent home. I love to travel around Japan and learn about the history and culture! Leave a comment if you enjoy my articles and join me on Discord! Take care!

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