Sayonara Wild Hearts review for Nintendo Switch, PS4

Platform: Nintendo Switch
Also on: PS4, iOS
Publisher: Annapurna Interactive
Developer: Simogo
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No
ESRB: E10+

Standing out on the chaotic convention show floor of PAX East requires a title to be really special. For Sayonara Wild Hearts, all it took was a little Claude Debussy. Thanks to the first trailer of Godzilla: King of All Monsters, I learned that Debussy?s Claire De Lune is like a siren song for me. Upon hearing a couple of notes, I will find myself diverting from whatever my original destination and just causing me to stand fixated at whatever was putting out that audio. Eventually one of the people manning the booth noticed my presence repeatedly and decided to approach me and asked if I wanted to play the game. I?m glad she did.

Sayonara Wild Hearts is an interactive pop album from Swedish developer, Simogo. Gameplay combines various genres and mechanics such as endless runners, shooters and quick time events. Aesthetically the visual design is a mad concoction of astrology, tarot, greasers, motorcycle gangs, and magical girls, all splattered onto a black velvet canvas. One would think all these disparate parts wouldn?t gel…but it absolutely works. However, the star of this title is the music, featuring 25 original tracks (and Claire De Lune). Many of the tracks are earworms and actually incentivizes you to replay many of the levels…which you will be if you decide to chase those gold scores. If you just want to experience the story of the title, the game is generous with checkpoints and will even offer to let you skip sections which you are having problems with.

This title did manage to change the way I played the Switch, mainly because I had to actually dock the system and play with music on. The action actually goes at a fast enough pace where the bigger screen was a boon. Most of the levels are short enough that they can be sped through in a couple of minutes meaning this game is extremely potent as a portable title.

Ultimately Sayonara Wild Hearts will be a permanent fixture on my Switch console (as well as my iPhone, as this title is one of the launch titles for Apple?s Apple Arcade service). While the Fool?s journey is a relatively short one, it will be extremely revisitable as one can strive to get the gold rank scores as well as collect all the diamonds strewn across the levels. Why wouldn?t you, with an excellent soundtrack and superb visual design, I couldn?t find a better way to pass the time.

Annapurna Interactive provided us with a Sayonara Wild Hearts Nintendo Switch code for review purposes.

Grade: A