Wayward Strand | PC Review
Wayward Strand, developed and published by Ghost Pattern, is a point-and-click based interactive story. It is currently available on Windows PC, PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch, and for the purpose of my review I was playing the Windows PC version.
Wayward Strand puts you in a very interesting setting, a setting that I’d say has been largely unexplored within gaming, making it feel far more significant than I expected. The game is set in 1978, where you play the role of Casey, an intuitive and inquisitive 14-year-old, whose mother is the head nurse of a floating airship that is also a hospital. Your mum is incredibly busy and asks you to spend a part of your summer helping her patients aboard the airship. Casey is very much a bookworm and would far rather spend her time invested in a good book than surrounded by people, but during this summer adventure, Casey can spend time with patients and learn about their lives and stories like the ones she reads about, but tangible and real in front of her. Along the way, she will also have tasks to do to help them and will meet an eclectic collection of people ranging from charming and eccentric, to rude and obnoxious. The game is based in Australia and as such, has a very fitting cast featuring Anne Charleston, most well known for her role as Madge Bishop in Neighbours.
First and foremost, Wayward Strand is a very charming game. The hand drawn pastel colour scheme was lovely, as was the aesthetic, so that was an instant positive for me. Secondly, I loved the setting - I don’t just mean the fact it’s something as random as an airship, but the fact it is essentially an old folk's home. I really feel like game developers are doing an incredible job of representing topics in imaginative ways that feel fun and enjoyable as a game, but also provide a thought-provoking story for you. Ageing is a topic that isn’t really covered terribly often, so Wayward Strand felt unique to me. The only other game that deals with some aspects of ageing and the elderly is a short puzzle game I played about a year ago called Heal, developed by Jesse Makkonen, and for similar reasons I really loved that as well. Sometimes quality in a game goes far beyond exciting high-octane gameplay, and Wayward Strand really ticked that box for me.
Another thing that really gripped me with Wayward Strand is the passing of time. Sounds silly, I know, but bear with me. Whether you talk to characters or not, time still passes, meaning that the outcomes with various people change. This is perhaps poignant mostly because of the theme of it being an old folk’s home and how time crosses over into ageing. Alongside this, it leaves a lot of scope for multiple playthroughs, where you take different paths each time so in terms of replayability, there’s another immediate tick for this game.
I had a lovely time with Wayward Strand. I’d consider myself a recent convert to point-and-click games with some of the lovely little tales I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing lately, and this is another that I really enjoyed and was very surprised by. For point-and-click fans who love a wholesome story, Wayward Strand should definitely be in your library.
Lj’s Rating: 4 out of 5.
For more information on Wayward Strand please use the following links...
Ghost Pattern - Developer | Publisher | Twitter | Website
Many thanks to Terminals.io for the Review Key.
Wayward Strand | Windows PC | PlayStation | Xbox | Nintendo
#WaywardStrand #GhostPattern #PointAndClick #InteractiveStory #IndieGame