Windscape is due to release today across various platforms such as the Switch, Xbox One, and PC, however the game has actually been out since 2016 on Steam’s Early Access program. Yes, it has taken almost three years for the official release. Crazy huh? The game was developed by Magic Sandbox and published by Headup Games. Never heard of Headup? I’m sure you have….just head on over to their site and take a look at some of the games they have been either fully responsible for or partially (Dead Cells anyone?).
When booting up Windscape it is easy to make comparisons with Zelda. From the aesthetics to the item collecting and combining to “cook” things and right down to the silent character that you control. There have been other comparisons where the game more than likely draws inspiration from such as the combat system being reminiscent of Elder Scrolls as well as visuals being somewhat close to Runescape. The visuals, as you will notice, are fairly low on the polygon count but honestly this is one of the things that contribute to this title’s uniqueness. Overall they provide the game with a charming feel that makes you feel right at home.
Getting back to the Zelda comparisons, however, the world, itself, is a pseudo-open world where as you work your way through the story, more areas open for you to explore which are non-linear so you are free to venture in any order you please. Each new area features various dungeons where you will find that poses no real challenge but still is fun to play through and uncover secret areas. As long as we are talking about Zelda comparisons, holding down the “L” button will allow you to sprint but be aware that you will use up your stamina, a la Breath of the Wild (sure this game technically precedes Breath of the Wild but still…). You can keep an eye on your stamina which is a green bar under your health/life gauge in the upper left-hand corner of the screen.
As mentioned earlier, you collect items throughout your journey. These items include weapons which you can equip via your inventory screen. You start out your journey with a simple club to take on the animals of the wild but will eventually end up with better, stronger weapons. Switching between weapons is fairly simple as all you have to do is press left or right on the left joycon d-pad or the d-pad on the pro controller. Attacking is a simple matter of pressing ZR and you can defend by using ZL. Pretty simple, huh?
Along the way your progress is saved either automatically in some areas or by walking near a totem that will automatically save. Totems will also replenish your life. Your life gauge can be found in the upper left-hand corner of the screen; indicated by a heart and the percentage of life you have next to it. Dispersing enemies will also provide you with items like hearts to replenish your health/life gauge, coins, and other useful tidbits.
A side note: What would any Zelda-ish action adventure game be without side-quests? You will be pleased to know that they are present and accounted for!
The soundtrack in the game can be soothing featuring piano melodies to whimsical (which is also like Zelda…okay enough with the Zelda comparisons…my bad). Depending on where you are in game world and what is happening, the music tends to change accordingly and honestly, for a small development studio, is pretty impressive and has to be one of the best I have heard in a long while in an indie title.
Overall, I have most certainly enjoyed my time with Windscape. I began playing through it with very low expectations and eventually found that I didn’t want to put the game down due to how relaxing, intriguing and just downright fun it was to play. I know I haven’t touched upon the story much but I really didn’t want to spoil ANYTHING for you as I really feel that this is a title that is best experienced rather than being told what to expect.
If you are looking for a great, relaxing and fun title to play this March I would certainly suggest Windscape which can be had by downloading it from the Nintendo eShop for the low asking price of $19.99 starting TODAY!
Nintendo Playroom would like to thank Headup Games for providing us a review copy of Windscape!
Do you have any plans to pick up Windscape for the Switch? Have you already downloaded it? What are your thoughts? Let us know below and as always we certainly appreciate you coming to Nintendo Playroom today!
SourceCode, aka Lucas Hughes, is the creator/owner of Nintendo Playroom. He spends his days primarily as a husband/father/programmer/gamer. He loves all things Nintendo and is very passionate about the Nintendo community.