Selma and the Wisp
Developed By : Toucan Studio
Published By : Ultimate Games
Category : Puzzle, Platformer
Release Date : May 31, 2019
Selma and the Wisp on the Nintendo Switch foregoes the inclusion of heavy narrative elements, and instead pulls you into it’s dark and eerie world. Things begin normal enough in Selma’s bedroom, but as she descends into a dark nightmare, her only hope is to traverse the world before her and hope for escape.
You play the game as the titular Wisp, which in turn puts you in control of Selma. Since the world is so dark and scary, you, the little wisp of light, are also Selma’s only hope. The wisp can be freely moved anywhere you see on the screen, and Selma will follow the best that she can. She can walk and run, jump small gaps, climb up small ledges, and scale ladders and ropes to reach much higher areas.
As the wisp, your skills are much more limited in number, but are extremely crucial to your success. Your main and constant ability is you are Selma’s source of light. You can also tell Selma to stay in place, you are able to pick up small objects contained within bubbles which serve as key pieces in the game’s puzzles, and you can perform a tiny explosion. This last ability is crucial since it can open pathways, dispel enemies or thwart any obstacle that might be in your way.
The game takes place over a short tutorial and 10 chapters, with each chapter’s focus being you escaping that immediate area. You’ll put to use all of the skills listed above as you cross dark caves, and escape from a heavily gun-guarded compound.
As you play, the two most important things you’ll notice are right on the screen in front of you. At the top is a blue line, and in the top right corner is a heart. The blue line connects to the wisp, and it shows how much of a charge you have left. If this depletes, you die and are forced back to the last checkpoint. Using your small explosion move will deplete a chunk of this at once, otherwise it will just slowly climb down. This bar also drains faster if the wisp is underwater.
The heart is connected to Selma. Some areas you encounter will have poisonous objects that can slowly kill Selma, and you’ll know this by the slow decrease in the heart meter. However, it’s not the only way you can kill her. As I mentioned above, you can tell her to stay put if you need to move into a dangerous area to fix it for her safe passage. However, if you go too far away, or stay away for too long, Selma becomes lonely and dies.
Again, there isn’t much put into for a story in this so if you’re looking for an expansive narrative, this might not be the title for you. Additionally, it’s a pretty short game and easily beatable in a single sitting. The visuals are incredible and I loved how the music perfectly fit the mood wherever you are. As it is, Selma and the Wisp is a pretty fun play, but the fact that the ride is over almost as quickly as it starts is a bit disheartening in this reviewers eyes.