Dark Light

Wayward Strand is a 2.5 D story-driven mystery-adventure game, woven together from many distinct threads of several stories, all of which play out simultaneously aboard an airborne hospital in 1970s Australia. It was developed by Ghost Pattern for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and 5, Xbox One X and Series X|S, and Steam. It will be released on September 15, 2022.

A Living World

The Wayward Strand’s premise is pretty simple to its bare bones. You play Casey Beaumaris, an intrepid teenage journalist who is visiting an airborne hospital with her mother for the first time. Casey’s mother assigns her the role of bonding with the patients onboard. From here on out, nothing is set in stone. There are more than dozen of people whose stories are taking place all at once in real-time and it’s up to you whether you want to be a part of them or not.

At first, the real-time narrative system may not seem like much of a deal but that’s quite not the case. In its inception, it may seem as slow as the Pilot of any typical rom-com K-drama, but later it goes ten-folds of its initial scenario. There are just too many happenings taking place and you can only be a part of a select few – just like us in our daily lives.

Based on your preferred paths and bonding with the characters, it all leads to an indefinite ending. As there is no going back, it is simply impossible to cover all the storylines in a single playthrough. There’s good and bad. And based on what falls in your fair share of endings, it can range from being excruciatingly boring to a memorable endeavor.

Time is of the Essence

The time is fleeting. It is one variable in our lives that we cannot alter, but, we can direct its flow to the things we love or spend it with the ones we hold dear. The same analogy applies to the game here. Despite its abundance of plot arcs, all taking place at the same time only a handful of them are actually worth going through. And you as a player will be missing out on a majority of these good chunks in your early walkthroughs.

There are two sides to this. On one hand, it may encourage to you go for subsequent playthroughs if your early playthrough was a good one. On the other hand, if you rooted for some not-so-pleasing characters and ended up having a bad time, it would greatly hurt the overall experience and also discourage you to do any further experimentation by firing up another playthrough. On the plus side, you do get to choose your own path through the world as it moves around you.

A Walking Comic Strip

Time aside, there are also numerous ways you can interact in the story. You can eavesdrop on, follow, and talk to your favorite character to discover their stories. Casey also keeps her Notebook in handy. Using this notebook of hers, you can follow leads, and investigate mysteries and strange happenings. There are no tedious learning curves here so you would be pretty set from the get-go.

On top of that, the game’s simplistic visuals seem straight out of good old comic strips from the ’70s. The game’s oozing soundscapes blend well with its simplistic yet artsy approach. Overall it feels nothing short of an animated comic strip close to what we have seen from the old classics like The Adventures of Tintin.

Real Talk

The Wayward Strand is a heartfelt tale, told in a meticulous way. It features over a dozen characters, each with its own timeline and story. All these stories playout in real-time alongside each other, throughout the ship which greatly bolsters the game’s replayability. It may not stick the landing in the early hours but if you hold on to it for longer, it will not disappoint you. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts