Wavetale is a heartwarming story about overcoming past conflicts to renew the world. Play as a young girl named Sigrid after the gloom overtakes Strandville. Players must reroute all the power back to the lighthouse, run by Sigrid’s grandmother Doris. This will allow them to push back the fog. Along the way players will find clues of what the world was like and how that ultimately led to its downfall.
Gameplay consists of Sigrid riding on a shadow under the water. Giving her the appearance of “walking on water” as she travels between islands. Strandville is almost entirely underwater. The islands are a few ruined structures on sand beds, or buildings tall enough to rise above the sea. Gloom creatures are easy to defeat, even during the final boss fight. Wavetale is largely focused around platforming and using the electric gates to speed up and around an area. Switching between sea, land, and gates is smooth for the most part. However, when Sigrid gets close to a gate it tends to “grab” the camera for a few seconds.
The only major issue, for players who need/like subtitles, is there are times when the audio and text aren’t synced. The subtitles flash by while audio stays at a normal pace. This only happened while traveling though. Very few major reveals are talked about outside of cutscenes so even if players encounter the same issue, they won’t be lost.
Besides the survivors in Strandville, there are the Dark Paws. A group Sigrid has grown up hearing terrifying stories of. She lost both her grandfather and mother once the group declared war. When the group reappears a plan is made to shoot their ship from the sky by turning Doris’ lighthouse into a cannon. There’s also some concern about the shadow beneath Sigrid’s feet, but most people choose to ignore it entirely.
Despite the lack of different biomes, the world of Wavetale still feels vast. The map opens up slowly as light cuts through more and more of the gloom. As Sigrid comes near the gloom environments grow darker. Besides a brief moment at the end, players will spend their time above water. The game ends with the promise of there being much more for Sigrid to see.
Wavetale is a good doorway into adventure games for those who don’t like puzzles or difficult combat. Traversal is fun and the platforming feels faster than it is. There is a quick pause so the player can latch onto a gate. Each interaction point also has an obvious marker. Sigrid is a charming character whose naive but focused outlook on the world is refreshing. Players are allowed to complete side quests after the story is completed, so they can spend even more time in this world.