Voyage is a beautifully hand-painted whimsical and colorful adventure spanning different worlds of earthly magic featuring a narrative that leaves you wondering “what happened here?”
I was provided with a free digital copy of Voyage on the Nintendo Switch. The opinions I have shared are my own.
Adventure in gaming comes in a seemingly endless ocean of different interpretations and each and every time there’s a story to tell that takes us on a journey into unknown worlds across vast lands. I’ve had the pleasure of getting to play Voyage before the upcoming August 12, 2022, release of the title on the Nintendo Switch and other platforms. The game has been developed by Venturous (a quite fitting name) and published by Ratalaika Games. I have to begin this review by praising Voyage for being a beautiful game in concept, sound, and art style.
You play as two silent protagonists. The game is entirely stripped of any dialogue and supplanted with expressive character movements and a beautifully placed natural ambiance of wind, rain, and soft piano with calming bells and chimes that just feel so incredibly cathartic. It made me think of the way Breath of The Wild seamlessly layers its sound to give you an almost ASMR-like experience as you explore. Psychologically speaking, Voyage does its darnedest to help you escape and I have to say it does so successfully.
As previously mentioned, our main duo are silent and their identities are so vague that it truly lets you interpret the game as you wish. From what I can gather and interpret from my playthrough is that the duo is a boy and a girl. They are trying to find their way back home and find themselves getting lost in the draw of these worlds untouched by humanity. You explore beautifully painted forests with vines and giants trees with branches you can travel across, scorching desserts with sand obscuring your view, dark and lonely caverns filled with strange plants that seem to be conscious, curious, and alive, mystical prismatic radiant stones of power, star fields with ancient ruins that seem to tell a story just beyond my reach of understanding. It all felt so wonderful and mystifying.
Voyage felt like being given ten puzzle pieces in a set of one hundred and being asked what kind of story can I make out of it. I wanted to know more about these worlds and encounter the wandering spirits who have walked the very path I tread. Trying to understand a lost world with no answers is strangely a part of this game’s charm. You need to experience it for yourself.
Gameplay-wise, Voyage is simplistic with minimal button presses. You get to explore, can switch between both characters, call and halt your other half and also embrace them for a hug, and interact with your environments by pushing stone statues or tearing spiderwebs away. And lastly, a summoning of light to guide you to points of interest to progress your adventure. The puzzles never felt frustrating or too difficult. The characters also move at a pace that lends itself to allowing players to really take in the environment.
Now, for the big question. Who is this game for? If you’re looking for a title with combat and violence, Voyage is completely free of both so you may have to look elsewhere. But if you’re a casual gamer or a lover of calming soundscapes, strange new worlds, or maybe just the power of friendship, I’d say Voyage is the game for you.
I say with gentle sincerity that this game is perfect before bed to fall asleep to or even to decompress after a long day. And I think there needs to be a bigger market for games belonging to such a genre. With all the craziness out there, it’s nice to slip into unknown realms and have the ability to escape somewhere else, if only for a little bit.
Much praise to everyone who played a part in breathing life into Voyage and sharing it with the world.
Do make sure to make the journey to play Voyage from wherever you buy your games from. You won’t regret it!
Author: Micah Carrillo
Micah is studying English and Digital Design. His love of geek culture spans across diverse mediums and genres. Comics, anime, films, you name it! He enjoys video games on the Nintendo Switch and Xbox.
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