GAME REVIEW | Getting Lost in the Hyper Pixel World of "Songbringer"
There are plenty of Zelda clones out there to choose from, but few are done in an ultra-pixelated art style in the vein of Superbrothers: Sword and Sworcery. However it takes actually good design to make that art style work, as Songbringer is not only too difficult for its own good, but you are also bound to get yourself to get lost. This is a game that's too old school, and it suffers for it.
Songbringer has your character on a space cruise ship with others, until an anomaly causes the ship to crash land on a nearby and unknown planet. Your character survives, and his only other companion is a little robot. Taking shelter, they pull out a sword that unfortunately wakes up some demons. Now you have to explore the planet and find a way off this rock, all the while defeating the demons you come across.
Of course in Zelda fashion, you'll find other items like bombs to progress further in the game, but your little robot friend can scan the area to further expand your map's viewing space. Although the downside to this is that the map has a horrible legend, and you'll have a hard time identifying anything. This also unfortunately translates to the gameplay screen as well.
The art style of Songbringer makes it hard to see anything that you do, and the game also suffers from artificial difficulty in the form of enemies that just soak up damage and are capable of tearing you apart. They are often in swarms that rarely drop much needed health items. Getting lost and not knowing where to go also happens frequently due to the level design being so bland and samey. Just about the only good points in the game are the oppressive and alien atmosphere and the level of humor in the game's dialogue. Otherwise, Songbringer is a game that suffers for it's questionable design choices. You'd be better served playing one of the other Zelda clones like Oceanhorn or Blossom Tales.
The Good: The quality of the humor is on point at least.
The Bad: Unfair sense of difficulty due to poor range and enemies being damage sponges.
The Ugly: The game is so old-school that the map doesn't even have much of a legend, leading players to get lost easily.
SUMMARY: Songbringer is a Legend of Zelda clone with a pixelated art style that makes it way to hard to see what's going on most of the time. It's also way too difficult for its own good.
Promotional consideration provided by Thomas Schulenberg of Tinsley-PR. Reviewed on the Xbox One.
Eric Kelly is a freelancer that you can support on Patreon here.