One of our favourite booths to visit each PAX East is the Annapurna booth. With an ever-changing, always impressive lineup of interesting titles, it’s usually a highlight of the entire event. This excitement goes all the way back to their first PAX East in 2017, where they brought What Remains of Edith Finch and Gorogoa, and carries through to this year, where we have the likes of Wattam, and a curious little title; Sayonara Wild Hearts.
For those who don’t remember, Sayonara Wild Hearts was one of the surprise announcements at the 2018 Game Awards, debuting a trailer alongside confirmation of a Switch launch. While we unfortunately don’t yet have confirmation of a PS4 version, the official website states a release on "Switch and other platforms". Annapurna has a steady - and incredible - track record of bring its titles over to Sony’s machine. Historically, the title’s developer Simogo has made mobile titles, but the game definitely suits consoles, and PS4 in general.
A rhythm based infinite runner of sorts - the game has checkpoints, levels, and endpoints - Sayonara Wild Hearts is a visually stunning, neon filled wonder of a game. We got to play the first five levels and found ourselves utterly enraptured. The first level sees you playing as a character flying through the ether on a skateboard to the rhythm of Claude Debussy’s Clair De Lune. It’s magical stuff. If anything, this first level is the least bizarre of the bunch too.
The subsequent levels got faster, more eclectic, and certainly more frantic. Your mode of transportation and the character you control seems to change level to level as well. Sometimes we were riding a neon pink motorcycle through some bizarre abstraction of an old European city, while others we were driving through cavernous chasms. The bike levels in particular seemed to be the most gonzo of the bunch. There are pseudo boss fights - also retaining rhythm mechanics - that involve motorcycle karate fights, and again, these are just the early levels. If that’s the beginning of the game, we can only imagine where the game goes from there.
The game is just so wildly inventive with the infinite runner formula that we found ourselves entranced. The colour palette is amazingly vibrant, the soundtrack is just as varied and eclectic as the environments, and the whole package makes for an exhilarating and creative ride. The game exudes such a high volume of energy that we couldn’t help but enjoy ourselves as we anxiously await news of a PS4 release.
What do you think of Sayonara Wild Hearts? Are you hoping to see a PS4 version in the future? Ride into the comments below.
I love Annapurna, and I'll support them whenever I can.
It's been 30 years since Tom Petty released Full Moon Fever. Crazy how time flies.
Strange fact: Sayonara used to be my favorite Toy Box song back in the 90s: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UVenOpPoUbY
@RBMango Honestly that's pretty much how I feel about them too! They have a Midas touch!
@Kidfried I've never heard of Toy Box before but I'm pretty into this haha. I like it! It's even got the general vibe that some of the music in the game had!
@gbanas92 I've loved them ever since Edith Finch. They're made up of a number of former PlayStation employees, and it shows with their game portfolio.
@RBMango Yep same! Their first title no less! I've (to this point) played everything they've released and loved it all! Edith Finch and Gorogoa are two of my favorite games of the generation! And I really enjoyed Donut County and Florence (on mobile) as well. And Kentucky Route Zero's console version (which is my favorite game of all time) I'm very excited for too! As well as The Artful Escape of Francis Vendetti. God I love Annapurna
@gbanas92 Thanks for your impressions, by the way. Even though it might not have looked like it from my comment, I'm very much looking forward to playing this game on whatever platform after having read this!
@gbanas92 I'm looking forward to Wattam, Solar Ash Kingdom, and The Pathless. They've become almost like an indie publishing powerhouse recently. I hope they publish whatever Giant Sparrow does next after Edith Finch.
@RBMango I'll have a Wattam impression piece up soonish too!
Yeah, I absolutely agree with you. Back when I saw their booth at their first PAX I wrote a thing about that exact topic too! That they were the next big indie publisher, and boy are they ever!
I think there's a very good chance Giant Sparrow will stick with them. And given how Annapurna's helping on all thatgamecompany's ports to other platforms if Sky makes its way to PS4 I have a feeling they'll have a hand in that too.
@Kidfried Haha no worries!
This game was a tonnnnn of fun. Very excited for this one!
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