Sayonara Wild Hearts is what I imagine a trip on LSD would be like with colors everywhere flying in a landscape of neon.
This game does a lot of things right. It has stunning visuals, great music and art design. Every level feels like a unique experience and the game’s length is just about right. It’s very much like playing some sort of music video.
The problem I have with this game is that I’m playing it on my iPhone and this platform feels like an afterthought. On a small screen you have longer reaction time and the twitch mechanic in this game is strong. You get only an instant to react to an obstacle in your way. If playing it on the big screen you will notice the obstacle sooner and get more time to react to it. Thankfully the checkpoints are many and not far apart. You manage to memorize the obstacles and do it trial and error.
My other problem with the implementation on iPhone is the controls. You control by dragging on the screen and that would work ok if your hand wasn’t in the way of seeing the action on the screen. I also found it very hard to be precise in my moment with touch controls. Many times it wasn’t sensitive enough so even if I did the correct movement with correct timing my character wouldn’t move far enough, hitting an obstacle and dying again and again.
After dying a few times the game ask you if you want to skip this part. That is nice but at the same time I get offended by it. The game is not very hard and now it asks me if I want to skip even before I’ve learned the movements. Well you just have to say no, but still. Just because the bad controls kills me 5 times in a row doesn’t mean I’ve given up.
In summary, a really cool visual and audible experience with game play that is lacking both in depth and control, however totally worth it for the 1,5 hours of game play.