Reviews - Updated on April 13, 2022

When Nathanael Weiss, the author of Songbringer, raised $9,000 for the game via Kickstarter (and raised $15 in the end), he immediately identified priorities and sources of inspiration – this is an action/adventure game in the spirit of The Legend of Zelda, only with procedural generation and in an old-fashioned wrapper. “Imagine what would happen if every time you played The Legend of Zelda, the action takes place in a different world with unique secrets, mysteries and new dungeons?” he asked. A rhetorical question – it will be very interesting …Songbringer game review

In all worlds, both weather effects and a change in the time of day are implemented.

reluctant hero

The protagonist of Songbringer is Rock Epimeteos, a party-goer and musician who roams the galaxy with a robot named Jib. He was born and lives on board the huge ship Songbringer, which has become a haven for some kind of space pirates and hermits.

In search of green planets that the galactic police have not yet reached, Songbringer once stopped in orbit of the planet Exerre, and Rock set off on his space bike to explore the surface. But the landing turned out to be tough – due to a lightning strike, he simply collapsed to the ground and now he cannot just fly back. In a nearby cave, Rock finds a strange nanosword, grabs it, and awakens an ancient evil. Now the planet, as usual, is in danger, and we have to correct our own mistakes and save it.

However, this heroic pathos is served under an ironic sauce. After some time, Rock meets a strange man with horns, and he reads the standard text to a smile: they say, you are the chosen one, you have an important mission, improve yourself, develop, and everything will work out. And he immediately teaches meditation in order to periodically restore health without outside help.

“Party lover and musician” reacts to this predictably – shouting “Cool, I like it!”. He cheerfully talks with the robot Jib, looks for alcohol for local hunters to exchange it for food, eats cacti (after which not only health and strength increase, but the screen begins to blur and shimmer in different colors), and answers Jib’s questions about meditation in “This dude taught me how to sit cross-legged!”

Songbringer game review

The picture, of course, is “old school”, but in dynamics everything looks quite nice and pleasant.

Hidden Objects

However, in numerous dungeons, where we now and then have to go down, it becomes no laughing matter. It is full of dangers – a variety of traps, monsters, skeletons, demons and giant “bosses”. We fight, look for access keys, activate some pedestals, and after clearing the catacombs, new dungeons open up, and the story moves on.

Rock fights mainly with the help of his nanosword (he just dashingly cuts with it in real time, there are no blocks or dodges), but he can also use bombs, mines, skills like teleportation a few steps forward. Yes, and Jeb sometimes turns out to be useful – especially if he has a proton shield that can knock back and stun enemies.

A shield, and bombs, and alcohol that restores health, and other useful items like drones that scan the map, can either be found, or received as a reward, or bought at some points on the map for diamonds, which we collect all the way. Also, after defeating the “bosses” we find alien artifacts that need to be combined to create new weapons.

This is how, through the search and creation of useful items, the player’s progress in Songbringer is implemented. As in The Legend of Zelda, there is no role-playing system in the usual sense. Only the maximum supply of health is allowed to “pump” – for this you need to again look for items, namely the special teeth of the dragon.

Songbringer game review

In each of the worlds you need to go through a dozen dungeons.

Who quickly

Otherwise, the similarities with games in the style of The Legend of Zelda are also obvious – we freely explore the environment, fight, overcome traps, look for keys, meet strange characters and some bizarre structures, huge balls, pedestals. And sometimes we solve simple puzzles, when, for example, you need to eat a cactus to see a secret passage or some kind of clue.

But, as the author promised, all this is flavored with bagel elements – Songbringer has a permanent death mode, and every time a new game starts, a new world is procedurally generated. More precisely, like this: we enter a six-letter value and get this very new world, but at the same time, no one bothers to return to the old one, unless, of course, you have completely died there.

You are even allowed to invite a friend into it and play together in local co-op – the comrade will take on the role of the robot Jib. Or you can compete with other players for the speed of passing the same world (the rating of the fastest “speedrunners” is even implemented for this).

Songbringer game review

Periodically, we meet other characters and perform simple tasks for them.

***

One developer, pixels, procedural generation, crafting, dungeon crawling – these are all typical components of the average indie that lives in its own ghetto on the vastness of Steam. However, the author of Songbringer, who worked on the project for three years, managed to make from this set a really very interesting and in many ways unusual game with beautiful, albeit simple, graphics and a chic “old-school” soundtrack. As a result, the leading gaming media are now enthusiastically writing about Songbringer. And we have no choice but to join them.

Pros: interesting setting with a touch of irony; funny heroes; free exploration of the world; exciting gameplay at the junction of action / adventure and “bagel”; procedural generation of new worlds; hot fights with “bosses”; great local co-op; nice graphics; nice soundtrack.

Cons: unpretentious combat system.

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