Spirit of the North's enchanting journey is magnificent on the Nintendo Switch Lite's screen, as played on for this review, and is even better on a large TV screen. The, at times, challenging game, has collectibles that add to the replay value, and playing as an unlocked snow fox in the snow magnifies the immersion of the game, with levels that beg to be experienced again simply for the fun of enjoying their beauty.
Way better on Switch than I expected. The graphics aren't as good as PC and PS4 but I almost couldn't even tell. Had to play them side by side to see a difference(I own PC, Switch. I've played a little on PS4). Controls felt smooth. Lots of games with animal protagonists are really rough but this was honestly one of the best. Graphics and controls asside... The subtle symbolism is the best part of this game. It's really moving and powerful. Took me a second playthrough to see it. Honestly, there is a lot of hidden lore in this game, but don't expect the game to feed it to you. Crazy to think only 2 guys made this.
Overall, the experience remains a valid alternative for players looking for a relaxing, short-lived title with ethereal atmospheres, despite the technical defects that prevent it from making its full potential shine.
Spirit of the North almost nails it. From the art to the characterisation, and even the wordless narrative structure, the developers have clearly put a lot of thought and creative energy into this, and it shows. You might want to play on another platform to get the full scope of the vision, because on Switch it is a little limited by the hardware, but even then, Spirit of the North has moments where it soars. It's just unfortunate that it keeps crashing into walls along the way, as the developers tried to justify the existence of the game by what can only be termed "gameplay bits", and every time that happens the motor takes a while to get going again. If you can handle the clumsy pacing and arbitrary puzzles and collectibles, though, Spirit of the North really is beautifully earnest in what it is looking to achieve.
I really wanted to enjoy Spirit of the North as someone who is passionate for Nordic folklore, meditative video game experiences, and foxes. Unfortunately, amid the game’s performance issues and lackluster gameplay, the title comes across as unfocused at best and unplayable at worst. There’s a meditative, thoughtful, and even great game that’s underneath all of the uncomplimentary design decisions, and the poor technical performance of the Switch port is the nail in the coffin of an already flawed experience.
Sadly, my drive to persist was sapped by a series of glitches in one section that led me to replay the same should-have-been-easy bit over and over again. That was bad enough, but combined with the poor controls, lack of engaging gameplay, an inability to manually save and infrequent checkpoints, every session was a slog. Writing a negative review for Spirit of the North is tough because on paper, it seems like something I’d fall in love with. That said, it’s just not a good experience — my appreciation for its non-violent content and environmental themes can’t carry its many shortcomings.
This game is cute. It’s not a massive game, and there are way better small 3D platformer puzzle games. But this game didn’t set out to accomplish much and it’s a beautiful game. It’s a tad bit easy, and in some places the area is too dark to see what your doing clearly. But overall it’s a very good game. And a good pick up if you have a few days to fill while waiting for a big release.
Pretty, but I'm not sure who this game is for. Long stretches of running around somewhat awkwardly in the pretty world make you think it's a chill game meant for the atmosphere. But then it's got its platforming stretches which are a little harder than they should be. Not always clear where you're supposed to go, despite an occasional hint. I get a bit dizzy playing it at times, though I don't in other 3d games, so it's something about the way you move around in this game. Controls are sort of wonky, especially that you have to hold L and left joystick to run... not a comfortable combination. Divided into "chapters", but there's no way to save, so you have to finish a chapter, which is super annoying when you need a break from the awkward platforming, awkward controls, or awkward movement making you sick. Some of this game is puzzling about what you're supposed to do next and how, and those parts have some promise, but they get sort of lost with the other wonkiness.
Controls make it unplayable, graphically not great: the fox is pixely, gravity is off, the snow squish effect is copy-pasted for every step, the jumping is as if you're launched straight up without any use of muscle.
Spirit of the North tries to follow in the steps of great games like Abzu and Journey. It many ways it succeeds, but mostly it's terrible. I love these types of simple, atmospheric games. I love foxes and I love Iceland. Surely there's no way I could dislike this game, right? Perhaps the experience on PC or PS4 is different, but on the Switch this is the worst game I've ever played, and I tried the Switch version of Fornite. I played the whole thing docked,, but even still the resolution looks like it's 720p and framerate is about 30 fps. The textures are blurry and washed out. Everything is sharp and jagged. It looks like a hot mess still in alpha development. For a game that's focused on visuals it looks and feels absolutely terrible. The game play feels clunky, but maybe thats partly from the dismal fps. The music is good and the idea is great, but the execution on the Switch is downright embarrassing. Do not buy this game on the Switch.
SummarySpirit of the North is a single-player 3rd-person adventure game inspired by the breathtaking and mysterious landscapes of Iceland with various pieces of Nordic folklore. The game purposefully has no dialog or narrative. Breathe in the surroundings to solve various puzzles and speculate the meaning of a lost ancient civilization.