- System: PlayStation 4, PC (Steam), Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
- Publisher: Deep Silver
- Developer: 5 Lives Studios
- Release Date: Aug 28, 2020
- Pricing: $29.99
- Rating: E
- Genre: Adventure, Action, Survival
- Players: 1
- Official Website: https://windboundgame.com/
Windbound - Official Gameplay Trailer
Who it Caters to
What to Expect
In case you didn't know, Kara is the only human character, so there are no dialogues, just grunts.
As a survival game, it's a challenging adventure where you go back to the starting point every time you die, and you only get to keep your key items plus 7 held items. If you play it for the story, you respawn on a random island with all your inventory items, but at least you maintain your chapter progress—basically, you only lose your boat.
The main issue here is that, on paper, Windbound is a great adventure that can be experienced as a survival game but also as a more relaxed, explorative experience. However, in reality, you're playing a game with enough good ideas to pique your interest, but most of them need a little more polishing not to feel bland. There are only 8 or so aggressive animals in the game, and once you know how to kill them, they don't pose a threat anymore. That's because the combat mechanics are too simplistic, but also because most of these are alone in the wilds. For a survival game, the only true danger is your own hunger: if you're hungry, you have no stamina, and if you have no stamina, you can't fight back... or run away.
Between chapters, there's a long corridor—an obstacle course, really—you need to sail through before reaching the portal to the next portion of the game, and it gets more difficult every time. With a canoe, getting to the other side is fairly easy; with a sailing boat, though? Good look avoiding all those pointy rocks! Sailing should be the most fun part of this game, especially if you spent that much time gathering resources to craft what in theory is a far better option...
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
If the story was less cryptic and really had a deeper meaning, if Kara had more personality, if there were more monsters, biomes, and craftable items... then Windbound could be a great survival game. In its current state, it's just a shadow of its own potential.
- Beautiful graphics and an enchanting soundtrack.
- You can go from Survival to Adventure (and vice versa) at any time.
- Simple, yet incredibly challenging.
- Unless you die a lot or take your time exploring, Windbound feels like it's shorter than it should.
- Some bugged animations when gathering or crafting.
- You're better off with a canoe; maneuvering a saling boat against the wind is the opposite of fun.
Honey's Final Verdict:
If you're looking for a few hours of challenging gameplay, then go for it! Otherwise, you might feel like the content you get is not enough both in terms of quality and quantity.
Don't get us wrong, we love Windbound's concept, and we do think it's an OK game, all it needs are better sailing mechanics and a little variety in terms of enemies and crafting (please, give us an update!). Other than that, we enjoyed learning from our own failures and discovering new islands, although there are a lot of things we still don't understand about this ancient civilization. Time to play it again, maybe?