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Sayonara Wild Hearts - Game Review 

Updated: Nov 5, 2019


Drowsy Knight

Instructions for playing Sayonara Wild Hearts.

Step 1: Turn off the lights.

Step 2: Grab your favorite headphones. Step 3: Crank up the volume.

Step 4: Enjoy the ride.

There’s not much to Sayonara Wild Heart. Essentially all you do is move forward but the way the game builds upon its simple foundation keeps the action frantic and fresh. That, coupled with beautiful visuals and a lightning fueled soundtrack, Sayonara Wild Hearts is a ride you won’t soon forget. Love and Heartbreak is the basis of Sayonara Wild Heart’s story but it never gets much deeper than the game's introduction. One second you're told about how our protagonist suffered a broken heart and the next your thrown straight into the action. It's really cool how the themes of relationship and love are woven into these vivid manifestations, almost visualizing the pain and pleasure of any relationship. Most of the story is told visually through the level design, boss battles, and the amazing soundtrack. I’m not going to pretend I understood it all but it paints a familiar picture none the less. Granted, the story may seem shallow but when collecting all the elements of the games approach to storytelling it’s pretty compelling. Either way, the action is where it’s at and despite what you may think of the narrative, it’s the frenetic, non-stop action that will get you hooked.

Gameplay-wise Sayonara Wild Hearts can be summed up as a runner. But to simplify it as such is a crime. There are a million runners on the App Store but none come close to the quality of Sayonara Wild Hearts. Yes, you’ll forever be moving forward but it’s breakneck speed and white knuckle action is extremely engaging and getting a high score is no joke. Things may start basic enough but Sayonara Wild Hearts is constantly shifting perspectives and adding new gameplay mechanics that will require lightning-fast reflexes to master. This keeps the gameplay insanely exhilarating. Boss battles are huge and although are easy to defeat they offer a mesmerizing spectacle. The action just continues to escalate, bosses get bigger, the stages get more intricate and when you think it can’t get crazier it always does.

The games art design is just as exceptional. The neon purples pinks and deep blacks are hypnotizing. They transfix you’re eyes to the screen and exaggerate the action making the most stagnant moments (not that there are much) look amazing. The icing on the cake is the incredible synth-pop soundtrack that expertly represents the gameplay. Like a music video, what you are seeing on screen and the music are intimately connected and it leads to some amazing moments. The beat will start to drop only come crashing back just as a boss is introduced. There is a nice amount of variety as well. Youll traverse vastly different environments that although all share similar colour palettes feel vastly different. You will be blasting through them so quickly that it can be hard to miss the minor details but it's still welcome. I only wish there was a little more to the game since it can be completed in about an hour and a half. There are a few extra game modes you unlock but it didn't grab me as much as the main campaign. At most the game will run you $12.99 so it's expected.

Heartbreaks suck. There isn’t a single human who can say they enjoy a good old fashion Heart Break yet Sayonara Wild Heart is not only a game about heartbreak but somehow makes it tremendously fun. It expertly weaves its themes through the awesome soundtrack and its high octane action gives these powerful emotions dimension and conceptually visualizes them in a way we all wished we could. It's short, like really short, but with a very low barrier of entry its hard to fault it for that. Sayonara Wild Hearts isn't a very deep game but what it lacks in mechanics and robust systems it more than makes up for it with its moment to moment gameplay and charm.

Drowsy Knight