Developed by Airtight Games for Ouya, Soul Fjord ambitiously combines rhythm and rogue-like elements into a unique gaming experience. While the concept is intriguing, the game struggles to push itself beyond its eclectic mix of ideas, failing to deliver the depth and excitement players might expect.
Adventure The story tells about Magnus Jones, a character imbued with Viking aesthetics. Banned from the exclusive Valhalla club, Magnus embarks on a journey through battles with trolls and lounge dragons to reclaim his place in the eternal party.
Roguelike gameplay with a rhythmic twist
Soul Fjord’s gameplay combines elements of a roguelike game, including loot gathering, combat, and trading. Notably, combat features a rhythmic mechanic where each weapon class has two different combos per time. Players must follow the bar located below the Magnus character to perform combos precisely in rhythm for maximum damage.
Soul Fjord tries to inject some humor into its presentation, drawing inspiration from grindhouse cinema with a wobbly split screen effect and a narrator reminiscent of a cop show. However, these attempts to parody outdated cinematic tropes feel somewhat dated themselves. The game relies on retro motifs like car stripes, fur coats, bouffant hats, and camping, aiming for an awesomeness that might appeal to a niche audience but fails to push the envelope.
The main disappointment in Soul Fjord is the lack of useful combat. The pacing of the gameplay feels disjointed, primarily due to Austin Wintory’s lackluster funk music. The combat mechanics are unable to effectively synchronize with the music, reducing the experience to performing abstract cues rather than creating an exciting rhythmic combat system. This disconnect undermines the potential for immersive gameplay.
In-app purchases and fair progress
Soul Fjord includes in-app purchases and a SoulBind system for saving items between playthroughs. While the implementation of these features in the game alleviates some of the typical frustrations associated with roguelike games, it’s important to note that in-app purchases are not exploitative. Players don’t feel deprived by using them as they contribute to a fair progression system.
Pros and Cons Soul Fjord Game
- Unique Concept: Soul Fjord successfully blends rhythm and roguelike elements, offering a distinct and original gaming experience that sets it apart from traditional games in the same genre.
- Creative Setting: The game’s Viking-themed adventure and the quest to regain access to the Valhalla club provide a fresh and intriguing backdrop for the player’s journey, adding to the game’s appeal.
- Rhythmic Combat Mechanic: The inclusion of a rhythmic combat mechanic, with specific combos to be executed in rhythm, adds a layer of engagement and challenge to the gameplay, making it stand out from standard roguelike titles.
- Fair In-App Purchases: The game’s approach to in-app purchases is non-exploitative, and the SoulBind system contributes to a fair progression system, ensuring that players aren’t forced into making additional purchases to enjoy the game fully.
- Lackluster Combat Execution: Despite the innovative combat system, the game falls short of delivering a satisfying combat experience. The lack of synchronization between combat and the background music detracts from the game’s potential for immersive gameplay.
- Identity Crisis: Soul Fjord’s attempt to combine multiple genres and ideas results in a lack of cohesion and immersion, making it challenging to define the game’s uniqueness. This hodgepodge of concepts can leave players feeling disconnected from the game’s overall experience.
- Dated Parody Elements: While the game attempts to inject humor through retro-style parody, it fails to resonate with some players, as these attempts at humor may come across as dated and not in sync with modern gaming preferences.
- Limited Appeal: The game’s appeal may be restricted to a niche audience due to its unique combination of elements, retro motifs, and rhythmic combat mechanics, potentially limiting its broader appeal.
Despite its innovative approach, Soul Fjord fails to deliver a truly immersive gaming experience. While it tries to bridge different genres, it often feels like a hodgepodge of ideas that lacks the cohesion and immersion expected of a memorable title. While it may not be a terrible game, Soul Fjord doesn’t stand out as a must-have, especially with alternatives including Airtight’s previous offering, Quantum Conundrum. At the end of the day, it’s hard for a game to define uniqueness and give players a memorable gaming experience.
A worthy choice of Ouya
In the context of the Ouya platform, Soul Fjord aligns with the platform’s “Free-to-try” ethos, allowing players to explore the game without requiring in-app purchases. While not the definitive “killer app” for the Ouya, Soul Fjord is still among the best games available on the platform, making it a smart choice for dedicated Ouya enthusiasts.
In summary, Soul Fjord ambitiously combines rhythm and roguelike elements, offering a unique gaming experience. While the concept is intriguing, the game doesn’t live up to its potential, resulting in a mixed bag of ideas that may not fully engage players. The innovative rhythm-based battle system is out of sync with the music, making it less engaging.
What is the main plot and setting of the game?
The game follows Magnus Jones, a character with a Viking aesthetic, who travels to regain access to the Valhalla club.
What are the flaws in Soul Fjord’s combat system and how does it affect gameplay?
The combat system lacks sync with the music, resulting in a disjointed experience as it relies on abstract cues rather than providing an engaging rhythmic combat system.
What is the main goal of the main character, Magnus Jones, in the storyline of the game?
Magnus Jones embarks on a journey to regain access to the Valhalla Club after being banned.