Sayonara Wild Hearts – Review

In Sayonara Wild Hearts, we deal with a broken heart by bopping to a pop album at 200 mph. Time to put it on replay? Here’s what we think.

If you have one hour of game time to spend, how do you use it? The way you perceive one hour of a video game depends a lot on what kind of game you’re playing, and how long that game is. Sayonara Wild Hearts made my one hour flash by in an instant, and it still embedded that hour into my memory for good.

Sayonara Wild Hearts is described by Simogo as a pop album video game, and that’s exactly what it is: an hour-long audio odyssey into a young woman’s soul as she deals with heartbreak—by racing at breakneck speeds and defeating her rivals. The game is drenched in style from top to bottom, and it’s still dripping when you’re done with it. Far from judging the game based on how much is style and how much is substance, I think it’s fair to say that it is a game where style is the substance. From the catchy, silken electropop music to the perfect palette of synthwave colours, Sayonara Wild Hearts is a game that you feel more than you play.

Indeed, the developers have kept that in mind, judging by the arcade gameplay that’s simple to play but challenging to get good at. Even if you feel, you’re only rewinded a few seconds back. It’s barely a penalty, and it helps the game never lose its groove. If you fail too much at a particular spot, the game even offers to let you skip it. The game will only skip that specific, seconds-long challenge, so you’re never in danger of missing too much. Besides, each ‘song’ on the album is as long as a regular song, so you can always play it again to really master it.

The bulk of your one hour with Sayonara Wild Hearts will be spent trying to grab collectable hearts from whatever path you’re driving on. They’re only there for the scoring, so if you’re not into showing off your high score, you will instead be focusing only on dodging obstacles and stylishly battling your music rivals.

Sayonara Wild Hearts screenshot

Trying to describe the individual parts of what happens in Sayonara Wild Hearts really does not do service to the game. The game can only be judged as a cohesive, complete package. The best moments of Sayonara Wild Hearts happen when all the music, the visuals, the laser-focused gameplay, and the stylish presentation, all come together. When those moments struck in my playthrough, my jaw dropped and my body grooved. Like any great album, I couldn’t wait for another spin, knowing just when to anticipate the beat dropping, or the chorus that I just had to sing along to.

Sayonara Wild Hearts

It’s hard not to recommend Sayonara Wild Hearts, simply because it works so well as both an album and a video game. Step aside music videos, we’re doing music video games now.

Developer: Simogo
Country of Origin: Sweden
Publisher: Annapurna Interactive
Release Date: 19th September 2019 (PS4, Switch, Apple Arcade); 12th December 2019 (PC)

The PC version of the game was played for this review of Sayonara Wild Hearts.

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Sayonara Wild Hearts is an hour-long, blazingly fast, and unrelentingly stylish ride through a pop music album that deserves to be experienced at least once.

This Article was written by: Rahul Shirke

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