If you’ve ever been watching a music video, and thought “wow, listening to this is cool, but I wish I could play it,” look no further. A literal emotional journey that takes you through the highs and lows of falling in and out of love, Sayonara Wild Hearts is a vibrant and creative rhythm game. Using tarot cards as a framework to receive “powers”, you have to fight your way through various stages of grief. Represented here by biker gangs, you come to terms with your feelings by blasting them to bits in rhythm gameplay set to a brilliant soundtrack.
This is the backdrop to a visually stunning, though shallow gameplay experience. Developer Simogo’s history with mobile titles shines through, as the game serves up a slew of disjointed vignettes with a gorgeous synthpop gloss. The game isn’t hurting for good ideas, as the vast majority of the 23 levels are extremely fun, but we would have liked more cohesion. Most of the ideas show up once, never to be heard from again. Regardless of how unique and fun the vignettes are, the fact they don’t really build towards anything is a bummer.
One of the more interesting ideas the game posits is actually how it approaches trophies. A collection of “zodiac riddles” give you vague clues about what to do, and are usually weird things you would not do while playing regularly. This is a master stroke as it vastly increases the replayability of the title, which would top out at barely an hour without it. Despite its short length, this is still very much a trip worth taking.