Songbringer is a beautiful and vast procedurally generated wonderland created by developer Wizard Fu. If you crammed the original Zelda and Dark Souls into a jar and then poured a procedurally generated fluid over the top, you’d have Songbringer. This game will have you locked in for hours with adventure, action, and a little frustration for good measure.
You play the role of Roq Epimetheos, partier and music maker, who is thrust into the position of “hero” when he stumbles upon a humming nanosword after his ship, the Songbringer, crash lands on the planet Ekzera. Roq is accompanied by his companion, Skybot Jib, who scans corpses for treasure and gains the ability to stun enemies. The characters occasionally make funny comments, which lightens the mood at times. I found myself looking forward to the banter between Roq and Jib.
You two set out on an epic journey after unknowingly awakening an ancient evil by taking the nanosword. But who can blame you? It’s a friggin’ sweet sword. And it hums!
I very much enjoyed the gameplay, which was smooth for the most part. Roq’s hitbox felt, at times, a little unfair—like I was getting hit by things that I shouldn’t have been. This can really make or break some of the frantic fights you find yourself in. Wizard Fu definitely gives you enough tools to help out, though, from blink orbs and sword upgrades to a top hat that you can throw to damage enemies and pick up items from afar.
Once you make it back to the Songbringer you can use the droidsmith to combine certain items, like a blink orb and a fire cube—combining those allows Roq to teleport a few steps while turning into a fireball. I can definitely appreciate that all of the boss fights were different, at least in terms of mechanics and arenas. From dragon space lizard creatures that freeze you (to the point of frustration) to a giant minotaur that wants to smash and blow you up, the fights are a frenzy and keep you on your toes.
The most important part is that they keep you coming back to try again every time you fail. And, trust me, you will fail.
The world of Ekzera is gorgeous in its own right, whether it’s sunny or raining out; yes, the weather changes randomly along with the day and night cycle.
With the levels being procedurally generated, there are a ton of hidden secrets you can find by consuming the psychedelic cacti found around the planet. This gives Roq the ability to see things previously unseen and grants you a brief period of invincibility that can come in great handy during a tough fight. I definitely stumbled upon my fair share of surprises, whether it was killing all the enemies in a random, unassuming area or a secret door revealed to me by the cacti.
Songbringer is definitely worth picking up if you’re looking for a new adventure and a breath of fresh air for your gaming library. Fun mechanics, challenging boss fights, and an expansive world will keep you coming back for more, so grab your nanosword, activate your skybot, and come join us on Ekzera!
The party’s just getting started.
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