Wayward Strand | Nintendo Switch Review.

Wednesday 21 September 2022

Publisher: Ghost Pattern
Developer: Ghost Pattern
Nintendo Switch Review

*Disclaimer: I was sent the code for this game in return for a review, all opinions are mine and mine alone.

Wayward Strand helped me take time out of my day to forget what was on my mind and solely invest the next few hours on the life of a young girl called Casey, dragged along to her mums work to help out Casey takes this as an opportunity to write a piece for the schools local newspaper. It wouldn't be a typical article due to the fact where she was going used to be a working, flying airship now turned into a residential home which her mother is the head nurse of. Set in the 1970's we get a glimpse of how life was for a budding young journalist and find out about the lives of the residents through the eyes of Casey and her questions.

As someone would would love to be given the chance to explore an airship I can see why Casey would base her article around it, someone on board must know more about it than she does right? That's where we come in, being able to sit with the residents gives Casey an upper hand to find out more but it seemiling becomes more about the residents lives than the airship, some have a very interesting background. There is a limit to how much you can explore, some rooms are cut off but you can later peak inside or you're invited inside by whoever works/is situated in that room. There is a repetitive nature to the game yet it doesn't feel boring or become annoying as each time you go back to a section of the airship you're able to gather more information for your notebook. Some people are welcoming whilst others come across as rude, this isn't anything to be offended by, they could be going through a great deal and need time for themselves to process them feelings which is why I always choose the most polite dialogue.

You have until around 6pm to gather all the information you need over a period of 3 days, time really does fly when you're talking to people. Set out like a storybook/comic strip you can move to the top half of the airship all the way to the bottom, every floor has a purpose and a resident that occupies it. My favourite part of the airship was definitely the top half where Tomi resides, her room is full of plants that she cares and nurtures for, I can see myself being just like that when I'm older.

I quite liked the option of listening in on people's conversations when people were busy chatting, it's something very child like but also a clever way of gathering information Casey might need to connect with residence as well as write her article. Her soul purpose of being there was to keep residents company, I felt she did a lot more than that and was able to distract some from what they may be going through both mentally and physically. On top of this there is a lot of tension between Casey and her own mother, you can tell she is stressed and worried Casey is making a nuisance of herself instead of doing what her mum asked, a simple conversation with Casey would iron out the issues and she would see that everyone aboard the airship has no issues with Casey they actually really enjoy having her around.

Gameplay it's a very easy game to grasp, there are no secrets you explore, ask questions and gather information, it's not an in depth game, I felt it was more about showing how overstretched the care sector is and how those who are in these residential homes love company and can thrive off of the company they have around them. It's clear Casey's mum is constantly rushed off her feet, she doesn't even have time for herself let alone her daughter which is heartbreaking to say the least.

Yes, the gameplay is simplistic but the amount of work that has gone into it is easy to see, from the artwork to the script for the voice actors it pulled at my heartstrings. Looking in on all this from my own point of view shows just how much people struggle and need support, they game helps you to listen and learn in a whole different way. I admire the developers for creating something so divergent, it was refreshing and made me appreciate my own circumstances in life. One last thing i need to mention is how the game has added an audio description feature and scale your font size which are both fantastic settings to make the game more accessible for those with sight loss, it's little things like this that proves you can make gaming accessible, it's not hard. 

Have a cosy day


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