Sometimes in life, we all need to do a little soul searching; to escape from the mundane aspects of our daily lives and explore to our heart’s content. Soul Searching tells the story of an individual who did just that in a world where those who set out to sea on a raft are specifically referred to as “Soul Searchers”. The destination to the far west is where our eyes are set, but don’t forget that it’s always important to make a few pitstops along the way to enjoy the scenery.
- Calming and wholesome
- Overwhelming sense of freedom and tranquility.
- Finding new islands is exciting.
- Hunger, Thirst and Energy bars that you need to manage through collecting resources when visiting islands and resting when you need to.
- Magic system that lets you control the way the wind blows and calls your ship back to you. Find more abilities by exploring.
- Great boat physics that has you battling the winds and faring the high seas.
- Jump off the boat to swim and find treasure.
- Donation DLC that unlocks music, with proceeds going directly to help the UN Refugees Agency.
- Minimalist pixel art style that is charming and eye catching.
- Tackles depression, stress and mental illness and uses sailing and soul searching as a clever euphemism.
- In the menu, there are seven short stories that, I guess, are… technically content? Some of it, nay, MOST of it, made me feel like I was on some kind of high, primarily when I was running through a 1-bit level that had aliens talking about drinking urine and a big PNG image file of a fish that’d been horribly stretched out. Like I said, “technically” content, which is why it’s under Good, but um, yeah.
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- Frustrating deaths from random dragon attacks.
- Stopping and starting for treasure and magic souls in the water every five seconds got old quickly.
- Island can tend to lack variety.
- Running is a magical ability that you need to find and spend magic souls on just to use.
- Not particularly colourblind-friendly when picking up items on an island and approaching NPCs.
- Occassional grammatical errors
Final Score: 75%
Soul Searching gives a whole new meaning to the concept of using video games as a form of escapism. With some deep-hitting moments that are aimed to make the player stop and reflect on one’s own struggles, the game calls out the idea of human beings avoiding confrontation with their own mental health struggles, providing a lot of food for thought. It’s important to sit with one’s thoughts and meditate on the path that lies ahead, and what better way to do that than by setting sail on the open waters.
Thank you for checking out our Soul Searching Switch review (Quick) and thank you to our $5 and up Patreon Backer for their ongoing support:
- Andrew Caluzzi (Inca Studios / Camped Out!)
- Belinda Cubitt