Wavetale: Surfing the seven seas
In Wavetale, you play as Sigrid. A young girl who lives on an island above a submerged city of Strandville that lies in an island archipelago.
The island is home to a large light house. Acting as a protector to a mysterious fog called the Gloom that lurks in the distance, its beam of light keeping the fog at bay. When the supply of sparks which power the lighthouse mysteriously dries up, the Gloom advances across the archipelago. Sigrid must collect sparks to power up the light house and defeat the evil power behind the Gloom.
Wavetale was first released on Google Stadia in 2021 but has now made its way to PC, from Thunderful Games. Is predominately platforming with a smattering of combat. As she embarks on her quest against the Gloom, Sigrid discovers a shadowy, mermaid-like creature that befriends her, allowing Sigrid to walk and surf across the water’s surface.
An adventure that belies expectations
Sigrid can use grapple points throughout the game world to help her reach hard-to-get-to structures, flinging her high into the
air – then use her net like a propellor to glide across to out-of-reach platforms.
The net is also used in combat to whack spider-like enemies using heavy and light attacks until they disappear in a puff of spoke. There are a couple of boss battles as you progress but, to be honest, they aren’t tough at all. Once you figure out their strategy, you’ll be done in no time.
I frankly had little expectations with Wavetale and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised with its hand-painted visual aesthetic and whimsical charm. It has great voice acting and the story is engaging.
Negatives? Collision detection is a little off at times, meaning Sigrid will land on a platform, half hovering over the edge, half on solid ground. I found the music also dropped out from time to time. The combat, too, was a little boring after a while, to be honest, and sadly, the final boss battle was a bit of an anti-climax. Especially given some of the earlier more entertaining boss encounters.
Wavetale is a visually charming and narratively engaging game but its relatively short. Taking me probably around six hours to complete, and this will be its biggest challenge given it’ll cost you $NZ43.59. Is it worth $43 for a handful of hours of charming visuals and a good story with some relatively easy game play?
Look, I liked Wavetale from start to finish
Which surprises me as I really wasn’t sure what I was getting into. Sure, it’s a little rough around the edges and there’s little to go back to once you’ve completed the game. Its charming visuals and engaging narrative should appeal to gamers who want a whimsical adventure game (with a likeable lead character) that won’t tax them too much after a busy day at the coal face.