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Musical adventure Wandersong brings cuteness and quirk to Switch next year

A unique rhythm game is just what Switch needs

Humble Bundle is bringing Wandersong, an inspired musical puzzle game reminiscent of, oddly enough, Undertale and Night in the Woods, to Nintendo Switch. The indie favorite will launch in early 2018, and its debut console trailer shows why it should be on your radar.

A sidescroller with a combat system driven by music, Wandersong stars a joyous bard who ventures through the land in the hopes of — what else? — saving the world. To do this, he’ll have to defeat enemies and solve puzzles using his singing voice alone.

Combined with the flat visuals, the game may strike some as a toned-down version of Night in the Woods’ musical sections. But Wandersong is more of a throwback adventure title guided by music than a straight rhythm game. Players spin around a colored wheel in specific orders to enter new areas and defeat bosses — so if you have a poor sense of rhythm, you won’t be as dinged for it as you may expect.

Something else that the game does well is sell its humor. I first played Wandersong back at Game Developers Conference 2016, when it was part of The MIX, an annual celebration of indies. Back then, what I was struck the most by — other than the happy paper cutout visuals — was how funny Wandersong was. It’s got a strong personality and goofy vibe a la Undertale that seems well-suited for Switch.

Maybe that’s because Greg Lobanov, lead designer and head of development studio Dumb and Fat Games, is a huge Nintendo fan.

“I grew up playing Nintendo games, [and] I love them dearly with all my heart,” Lobanov told me about Wandersong’s upcoming console debut. “Earthbound is like the single biggest reason I make games now. For a while I thought we would never be cool enough to be a part of it, to be honest. I've never made a console game before.”

Dumb and Fat’s previous titles have hit mobile and PC; Wandersong is still due out on Mac and Windows in 2018 as well. But Lobanov and the rest of his team are stoked that the game will find a home on a Nintendo platform.

“It feels so special for us, you have no idea,” he said. “I don't know when it's even gonna feel real. Like: I'm making a Nintendo game! What! It is an actual dream come true. Now I just have to make sure the game is amazing to live up to it!!!”

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