Parts Platformer, Parts Harvest Simulation, Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin is a unique addition to Nintendo Switch’s already diverse library and may tell you one or two things to play. Hmm.
Inspired by Japanese mythology, the game tells the story of a spoiled harvest goddess exiled from a heavenly house to an untouched island swarming with demons. Fight monsters, harvest crops and build your own house in the wilderness.
Developed by Edelweiss, the indie studio behind the acclaimed Astebreed, Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin combines side-scrolling action with harvest simulation and craft, but at its core is the world. A powerful story about finding your own place in. Here are five reasons you should experience it …
First and foremost, it’s fun!
A lot is happening in Sakuna: rice and ruins. After a minute of working on the platform segment with farm tools as a weapon, the next step is to harvest the perfect crop. Edelweiss sowed the seeds of diversity, but the studio spent a very long time trying to make the game fun too.
The side-scrolling platform section is fast-paced, desperate, with combos and grappling hook action, and is tied to combat. In addition, there are upgradeable skills and new weapons to unlock, and these features keep Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin fresh overall.
Rice farming is really deep
These agricultural elements are not just put in for the value of novelty. They are an integral part of Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin, and the level of depth may surprise you. It’s a side-scrolling platformer as well as a harvest simulation, balancing these two gameplay types.
As the goddess of harvest, the power of Sakuna, who bears her name, is linked to her successful rice cultivation. Factors such as aesthetics and taste affect her fighting ability, so the player has an incentive to harvest them completely and is enough to justify collecting poop from a remote home for use as fertilizer.
I’m a real Japanese
Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin is a game filled with oriental promises. The settings, stories, visuals and soundtrack were all inspired by ancient Japanese history, and the development team really did their homework. This is a genuine view of the myths of Asian countries, and players can even switch the spoken language of the game between English and Japanese on the fly.
Full of individuality
Traditional Japan is usually a serious background, but Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin takes a more carefree approach to that myth. The game is quirky and accessible, thanks to the hero’s cheekyness and wise cracks.
Much of the game conversation takes place at dinner at the end of each day and tells the story in a fun and laid-back way. There are also cute Shiba Inu who can keep pets during these sequences.
Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin was developed by a very small indie team, but you can’t tell from the impressive visuals. The game has some incredible backgrounds on display, and it’s permissible to think of them as a much larger operation task.
The village is a particular highlight. Surrounded by stunning lighting, the dynamic time of day means that you can catch rice at dawn and sunset and enjoy stunning views.
If jumps, crafts and harvests sound like yours, Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin will be available for purchase in physical and digital form for £ 34.99 starting November 20th.