|a game by||Melos Han-Tani, and Marina Kittaka|
|Editor Rating:||8/10, based on 1 review|
|User Rating:||10.0/10 - 1 vote|
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|See also:||Puzzle Games, Best Indie Games, 3D Platformer Games, LGBTQ+ Games, Parkour Games|
More than a mere 3D platformer, Sephonie combines satisfying movement and exploration mechanics with an engrossing narrative and an amazing setting to bring us one of the most entertaining and original indie experiences we’ve played in quite a while.
A throwback to the olden days of collectathons that favored exploration as a narrative device, Sephonie can have some issues finding its footing from time to time — literally — but it makes up for it with an interesting story and charming characters; and that’s without mentioning how rewarding the exploration in this game feels.
Island of Mysteries
The story of Sephonie will take players deep underground, into a world where both the scientific and the mystical coalesce into one. Sephonie Island hides more mysteries under its calm surface than one might think: the landmass features a complex cave system that hides ancient secrets, ready for players to discover.
Developed by the same creative team behind the two Anodyne games, Sephonie stars a trio of heroes that ventures into the depths of Sephonie Island. In a journey of mystery and fascinating discoveries, our heroes soon discover that they are not alone in these caves.
Most of the game is played using a parkour-like movement system that allows the player an unparalleled sense of freedom when they’re out spelunking. Even though the controls feel responsive most of the time, we should point out that there are some minor issues with the camera, especially when it tries to keep track of your character in some of the more intense parkour segments.
As entertaining as the gameplay might be, the star of the show is, without a doubt, Sephonie’s cleverly-written plot. Sure, the satisfying parkour action might make you relive your glory days of playing Mirror’s Edge, but the plot hits you right in the feels with every plot point.
Puzzles and Connections
Aside from the exploration aspect of the game, Sephonie also features an accessible puzzle mechanic that lets the game’s protagonists “Link” with the creatures they find deep inside the cave system.
This mode is played similarly to a Tetris match, or rather a “Match 3” puzzle minigame. Fortunately for those players who just don’t enjoy puzzle games all that much, these segments are fairly easy to beat. Unfortunately for the game as a whole, much of these puzzles feel oddly out of place for a game that, up until these linking boards appear, is all about exploration, platforming, and an amazing plot.
Speaking of plot, some players might be bothered by the game’s inability to skip most of the dialogues. While it’s understandable that the developers wouldn’t want their nicely-crafted plot to go unnoticed, it’s always nice for players to have the choice to skip some of the denser plots of dialogue, should they wish to speed things up a bit.
As it is, Sephonie is an excellent gaming experience that’s definitely at its best whenever the game’s about 3D platforming and developing its characters. The collecting segments, not to mention the odd puzzles, feel like remnants of ideas from other games: ideas that would have been better off left out of the game.
Sephonie is a solid 3D platformer with a fascinating plot and satisfying gameplay. The puzzles might feel out of place, but they never ruin the overall experience.
- Satisfying platforming gameplay
- Mysterious areas to discover and explore
- Well-written plot that will keep the players engaged
- Puzzle segments feel too easy and out of place
- Unskippable dialogue
- Finicky camera
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP