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  • Writer's pictureNoah Yard

"The Wild At Heart" Review: Pikmin with a Soul.



I am blessed with a gift. And that gift is the ability to find new indie games, full of heart, full of story and full of fun gameplay. Now I’ll give credit, I mostly find the ones that are the most heavily advertised, or pick games that are featured in hundreds of articles just like this one, but I maintain I have a gift, anyway…


My gift this time led me to Humble Game’s “The Wild At Heart.” This Pikmin inspired, beautifully drawn game immediately captured my heart the way a few games have managed to do this year. It comes with the caveat that when I say Pikmin inspired I mean like… Downright Pikmin knockoff. But unlike most knockoffs, the duplicate is almost more fun and charming than the original (Don’t come for me Pikmin fans.)


The three things that won me over when playing were the story, the whimsical art style, and the mechanics of play.


You play as Wake and Kirby, two kids who run away into the forest because they feel neglected or unwelcome at home. But instead of trees and squirrels, the two come across “the deep woods,” a mystical realm filled with charming denizens and creatures. Your task becomes recalling a fallen order of protectors, a guild of sorcerers and warriors, to fight back against a dark force.


But it’s not these big, legendary warriors who do most of the adventuring, no no, it’s two children, armed with an army of little sprites, tiny onion-shaped creatures that you literally throw at objects, and they perform tasks for you. These tasks can include destroying obstacles, defeating enemies, building bridges, and carrying heavy objects. There are different types of sprites that perform in unique ways. Some can build bridges of ice, some can break crystals, some of the cute little buggers can set fires for you.


Using these unique little creatures gets you further and further into the woods, gathering artefacts and fighting monsters. There are also other features that are less essential but do enhance your experience within the game, such as crafting items and collecting relics.


Possibly my favourite part of the game is its art style, which reminds me somewhat of the children’s book “Where the Wild Things Are,” that’s sort of the way I would describe it, as a children’s book come to life. Each character is designed so uniquely they are a joy to look at.





The sprites are very, very similar to that of Nintendo’s traditional Pikmin, very onion-like, yet in The Wild At Heart, they’re far more expressive and it’s far more upsetting when they get, ahem, destroyed by, say, a falling rock or a giant blob monster.


What some might call a cheap imitation or a rip-off, (as many of the other mechanics and things in Pikmin are also present such as day and night time changes), I myself would call an improvement on the original Pikmin series. The Wild at Heart is creative in its own ways, deeply emotional in a way I’m finding only indie games of this calibre can be. It’s a delight to look at, and not at all too difficult if you’re a casual gamer. I would recommend this game to anyone who enjoys possibly story and style over difficult gameplay.

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