The Wild at Heart Review

Introduction

The Wild at Heart is an adventure game that was developed by indie studio Moonlight Kids. It was published by Humble Games for PC and Consoles and was released in May 2021. A Switch release happened in November 2021.

Review

When we were children, there was always some point in time where we wished we could run away forever. Go to our own little world, with our best friends in tow, and just leave it all behind, no matter how hard it may be. For Wake and his friend Kirby, this is all a bitter reality. So off to the woods they run, only to find themselves in an entirely different world, known as The Deep Woods.

Wake and Kirby suddenly find themselves thrust into the position as defenders of the forest, known as Greenshields. The story really leans on learning how to forgive and realize that it’s not only you that matters. After it is hinted that Wakes home life isn’t exactly the best, I honestly saw the big twist coming from a mile away. It didn’t make it any less sad, but of course Wake then takes all of his frustrations out by running away. You eventually learn the backstory to it all. Unfortunately the game doesn’t put much emphasis on it. Only having events spawn once in a while, I never truly knew how to cause them to spawn to get more backstory. Or if you end the day with Kirby, you get backstory for her, as opposed to both.

The characters you meet throughout the journey all felt unique, even if they were all a little weird. Unfortunately they all suffer from memory loss. The reason behind it all was a bit crazy honestly, and you eventually learn that time doesn’t pass like normal in The Deep Woods. So there was always a new mystery to uncover about the world. You even find journal entries too, and if you happen to pick them up, they tell you about the world through the perspective of one character, and how The Never slowly spread, and took over everything. It honestly felt like a whole crazy scenario from the mind of a child, and I was more than okay with that!

The gameplay is what I was most surprised at. Now I usually go into games knowing what they are in a sense. But I never fully look into them to know how they play. So when I started up the game and found it to be a Pikmin clone, needless to say I was all for it. You get little creatures that follow you around, called Spritelings. You find them in seeds, then you can grow more. Eventually you find many different types. From fire based ones, to water, to some that are better at night. All these different variations help you solve puzzles, defeat enemies, and generally get around the world.

Now my biggest issue with the game is that it will give you many objectives to do all at once. So all of them will be marked on your map. Unfortunately you can’t just pick and choose what ones to actually do in what order. The game has a specific order to getting things done. Why give you multiple spots you can go to, if I couldn’t do them the way I wanted!? While exploring, I was also caught out at night a lot. The day and night cycle seems to go way too fast. I’d explore a small portion of the area, and have to go back to camp because at night, monsters come out to get you and your Spritelings.

I did absolutely love the looks of the game though. It reminded me a whole lot of the game book “Where The Wild Things Are”. Maybe that was intentional by the developers, but it made me feel like a kid again. Especially with how cute the Spritelings were. I do hope the developers make another game in this universe with the same visual style!

Rating

Rating: 8 out of 10.

Pros:

  • Intriguing Story
  • Pikmin Like Gameplay
  • Awesome Visuals

Cons:

  • False Sense Of Choice
  • Day/Night Cycle Happens Too Fast

Summary

For anyone who likes Pikmin, I definitely recommend this game. It’s cute, it’s fun, and it does the gameplay so well! The story is darker than expected, but unfortunately it seems to lack the ability of telling the backstory coherently enough. But it’s all worth it at the end of the day.

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Game & Developer Information

Developer Website: Moonlight Kids
Developer Socials: Twitter
Publisher Website: Humble Games
Publisher Socials: Twitter

The Wild at Heart | Launch Trailer

Published by oniwalker

Co-owner of NodeGamers(dot)com. Reviewer and Guide Writer. I'll play just about anything as I cry about my backlog!

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