FAR: Lone Sails | Nintendo Switch Review
Updated: Nov 19
Every now and then you pick up a little indie game to play and it just blows you away right from the first moment you switch it on. That is how I felt with FAR: Lone Sails. It really is such a little gem of a game. Developed by Okomotiv and Published by Mixtvision Games, FAR: Lone Sails was first released in May 2018 and is now available on Windows PC, PlayStation 4, XBox One, Nintendo Switch, as well as Apple and Android Mobile Phones. For this review, I was playing on the Nintendo Switch with a Review Key kindly supplied by Mixtvision Games.
FAR: Lone Sails is by no means just another 2.5D side scroller, and for your money here, you are presented with a mix of survival, platform, micro management and puzzle solving that's all wrapped up in one visually impressive little package. There's no dialogue, no back story, and no tutorial here, but do not let that put you off in any way. All you really need to know is that you may well be the last person alive in this post-apocalyptic world, and your main goal is to get to your destination, which is somewhere to the right. And to help you get there, you have a kind of hybrid vehicle, which is fuelled from discarded rubbish and junk or whatever items you can find and pick up along the way and throw into the fuel chute. Once you start your journey, this is where the vehicle management kicks in, and it can be a bit like spinning plates at times. Your fuel only lasts so long, the engine can overheat, fires can start, parts can breakdown, and you will find yourself running back and forth keeping everything in check and working, while checking the route ahead for obstacles or items to pick up along the way.
As you progress along this journey, there will be opportunities to upgrade your vehicle, and these happen at little workshops or safe points. You will also come across some obstacles in the form of doors or platforms that will block your route and require some puzzle solving to proceed. I found the mix of keeping the vehicle moving with some exploration and puzzles throw in a nice little balance. You are not always inside the vehicle and a lot of the game is actually spent outside. Just remember to apply that parking brake before you do exit, as I did find myself a few times chasing after the vehicle which had decided to roll down a hill.
The controls were very easy to get used to. A and B are your primary 'use' and 'jump' with the thumbstick for movement. There is also a zoom function using ZL and ZR to zoom the screen in or out and I found this to be very uselful and helpful with different scenarios. The visuals in the game are exceptional, and as you traverse the sprawling desolate landscapes, you will find yourself taking in the backdrops that fill the horizon. The music is subtle and I found it quite relaxing at times, and I noticed it picking up in pace, while I raced across a large flat expanse of land. There is also a small radio that you discover at one of the safe zones, which also just happens to be an actual radio tower, so you can tune the radio to the tower and it will provide you with a constant little flow of music in the vehicle for the journey.
I think my playthrough was around the 4 hour mark, and although that is not a lot really, I did enjoy every minute I spent playing the game. It is maybe more suited to the Switch or on Mobile, over PC and Console. I found the Switch version played in handheld mode to be ideal, and this would be a great little game to pass away the time on a bus or train journey, or even on a flight. It's also a game that I would find myself revisiting at a later date, just for nostalgia purposes, and just because I enjoyed playing the game so much. There is a second game coming out later in the year called FAR: Changing Tides which you can find out more about here, and I am absolutely looking forward to playing through that when it is released.
Overall I thouroughly enjoyed playing FAR: Lone Sails. It was just such a wonderful game and a great experience with it's mix of different gaming styles. It looked amazing and I was never bored during my playthrough. If you are looking for an exciting and challenging little indie game to pass a few hours and to keep you intrigued, with some puzzle solving and micro management thrown in, then FAR: Lone Sails certainly will not let you down. I think I have to drop it a half point in my rating only because it was all over too soon. I just did not want the game to end. I should also point out that the game is currently on offer on both the PC and on the Nintendo Switch with a 50% saving on the Steam Store and on the Nintendo eShop.
g1a5w3g1an's Rating: 4.5 Silky Sails out of 5.
Many thanks to Mixtvision Games for supplying the review code.