The Grove and its inhabitants in The Wild at Heart
Games,  Review

The Wild at Heart review

Take an adventure into a magical world with The Wild at Heart. Wake is running away from home with his best friend, Kirby. His Dad has never been the same since his Mum died, and he can’t deal with it anymore. So, he and Kirby are going to hide out in the woods behind his house. Unfortunately, he gets lost and ends up in a magical world of spritelings, wizards, and terrifying beings lurking in the dark.

The Never were trapped by the Green Witch, but since she’s gone, they’ve been leaking back into the world and causing chaos. Fortunately, they can only appear at night, so be sure to find light and shelter before it’s too late.

Gameplay

Armed with little more than his gustbuster, Wake makes his way out into the woods. The gustbuster is a handy little vacuum-like contraption he made that will suck up almost anything.  The gustbuster is helpful for nearly everything in The Wild at Heart. Suck up scrap (the game’s currency), glint (used to create spritelings), reign in spritelings and solve puzzles.

The gustbuster at full power
The gustbuster at full power

While the gustbuster is very useful in Wild at Heart, the big focus in the game is adventure and exploration. You’ll need to explore and explore and explore this beautiful realm to unlock near areas and types of spritelings.

The spritelings are tiny creatures that will do almost anything you need them to. Start with one and build up a rainbow army who will do your bidding. You can throw them to break up rocks, attack enemies and carry items for you. There are also multiple types of spritelings with different abilities to help you discover new areas and fight new enemies.

Art and sound design

Wild at Heart is gorgeous. It’s really something special! The character designs are so detailed and full of personality and emotion, down to the tiny faces of the spritelings. The backgrounds are so detailed and full of wonder. With multiple different environments, there’s always something new to discover in this delightful world. The world of Wild at Heart is also a little bit nostalgic. Set in the 90s, you’ll see arcade machines, old-style telephones, and more for 90s kids to gush over.

Aatto playing for the spritelings
Aatto playing for the spritelings

The soundtrack is an excellent companion to the art style and story. It evokes a feeling of mystery and adventure, as well as a bit of terror at night-time. In The Wild At Heart, there is a day/night cycle, and “the dark is bad” with The Never lurking around every corner. The track The Dark is Bad is perfect for conveying this message as it plays on a feeling of creepiness with a ticking clock to tell you it’s time to get to safety. It’s worth a listen even outside of the game.

Final thoughts

I was so hyped for The Wild at Heart when I found the demo during a Steam festival. More so when the release date rolled around. Aas we all know, sometimes hype can lead to disappointment, but that isn’t the case here. The game is everything I wanted and more. I enjoyed the story, exploration, art and soundtrack… basically everything. I absolutely recommend giving it a try and discovering it for yourself.

Want to know more?

Website | Twitter

Platforms: PC (Steam & Humble), Xbox (inc. Gamepass)
Genre: Adventure, story-rich, puzzle, metroidvania
Soundtrack: Bandcamp, Spotify

One Comment

  • Kim

    The art style is gorgeous! Makes me think of illustrated children’s books. The gameplay sounds like it could be similar to Pikmin, do you think they’re comparable?

Leave a Reply

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