Random world ABCDEF.
The adventure RPG genre is one of my favorite. I grew up with Zelda, and while I still consider those to be at the top tier, next to Y’s games, there are plenty of interesting or unique titles within the genre that get overlooked or are underrated. So when I heard about this new game that takes the genre, adds a seed-generated world to play and share, a sci-fi alien world vibe, features a shirtless dude name Roq, and lets him trip out on cactus, say no more.
Adventure and Dungeons
After crash landing on a mysterious planet, Roq and Jib, a small robot, try to discover exactly where they are and how to get back to their ship, the songbird. Soon enough Roq goes mingling into business he shouldn’t be and grabs a sword, and thus the adventure begins. One unique aspects is that at the start of the game, its player’s choice to name the world via a six digit name. That will create the world and anyone else that names it the same will experience the same design and pathways through the adventure. So sharing the world played by one player can be the same, or change the name at the start and have a completely different play through. This is a very cool concept that allows sharing and also replayabilty.
Price I’d Pay: $14.99
How long to beat: 5-7 hours
That said, even during my time playing, I felt like the level and layout design felt more like a typical adventure game and not something that felt generated off a code. A good thing really, because in the past I’ve played games with similar features or random generate assets and it showed. Here it’s a bit more subdued and not as noticeable.
As Roq explores, he will find abilities and power ups to use, attack plenty of weird alien animals, and discover dungeons with boss battles. All while trying to find his crew and get back to the ship, it makes for a simple yet compelling enough reason to have players continuing the story, but the story element isn’t going to be what truly brings the players in. Sometimes the action in these titles is another element that keeps people hooked, but here the combat is only suitable and just serviceable at best. No crazy combos. The sword feels ok enough to swing, but also sometimes feels like just hitting the button as fast as possible and hoping for a win. Luckily if players die, it’s a simple restart back at a checkpoint or save area. The adventure aspect and exploring is what really interested me, along with the weird enemies and pixel art that kept me coming back for more.
The core premise behind Songbringer had my attention, and the gameplay does a decent enough job of making me enjoy that…most of the time. Getting lost happened to me often, aimlessly wandering around occurring and frustrated me. Yet I’d persist and eventually find my way to a new location, story element, or ability and then continue on my way. The pixel art looks good, if not a bit blurry up close, and the soundtrack, while matching the aesthetics seemed a little too ear grinding for my tastes. Still, I enjoyed myself and I will return to Songbringer. It’s zany and a great idea for an adventure game even if a few things could be tweaked. I’d love to see more of Roq and that’s saying something. An adventure dungeon crawler with a wacky and funny heart.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.