Is this a Bittersweet Sephonie?
In this story-driven 3D platformer, explore Sephonie Island’s massive cave network, and link with unidentified species using the novel Puzzle Grid system. Explore the island’s depths as shipwrecked biologists Amy, Ing-wen, and Riyou, whose personal histories come to bear on the shifting spiritual landscape of the island depths. A deep, emotional story about the close bonds of a trio, the priorities of nations, and the delicate connection of humans and nature.
Sephonie is a mixture of platforming, wall-running, collecting items as well as an occasional puzzle grid to beat to progress. The story is a bit heavy, but there are some truly touching moments here. One quick glance at Sephonie and you’ll feel like you’ve been sent back in time, the visuals feel like something from the PS1 era and the characters move around a bit stiff, it reminded me a bit of the original Tomb Raider games with Lara’s clunky movement.
It’s not all bad though. The island of Sephonie has plenty of charm to it on the outside and inside the caves you will explore, finding creatures to link with by completing puzzle grids which consist of placing coloured blocks together in different designed grids to reach a certain score.
These are quite simple, but you can make it even easier in the settings if you so wish. Speaking of that, there are a bunch of options to make the game that much easier. You can have an infinite jump for example, which naturally takes all the platforming challenge out the window, but it is amusing and for trophy enthusiasts, it’ll make nabbing the Platinum a lot easier.
Sephonie feels like a love letter to the early 3D generation with it’s visuals and slightly awkward movement, but in a good way. It doesn’t outstay it’s welcome and the story is decent. All in all, I was impressed and look forward to seeing more from the developers.