Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day, perhaps for all time.
I’ve always found that Ben & Jerry’s Cookie Dough helps heal a broken heart, but the main character from Sayonara Wild Hearts prefers battling a three-headed wolf robot that spits out spikey yoyos. Whatever works. And, to be fair, it’s better that developer Simogo went down this route. A game about a 30-year-old, head first in a bucket of ice cream, probably doesn’t have as much appeal to the masses.
Although, auto-runners weren’t exactly in vogue when this was released. What made this one stand out from the pack was how complete it was as a package. Everyone focuses on the music, and I get it: the 23-track offering is full of wonderful, upbeat pop, wispy shoegazing, and driving trance. Songs flow from one to the next, with any harsh deviations feeling like a deliberate jolt to the listener.
But I’ve always seen Sayonara Wild Hearts as more of an elaborate stage show, rather than a tightly-written 60-minute album. The seafoam greens, the trippy blues, the electric pinks: the chosen palette works so well with Simogo’s penchant for twirling shots and smash zooms. Yes, the music is a huge part of the presentation, but it is exactly that: one part. Everything comes together to create what is a joyous overload on the senses. And you ride a turquoise vomit wave at one point, too, which is also good fun.
For all intents and purposes, this is a score attack game, where you can revisit levels to collect more shiny objects in order to better your score. But, I feel a bit wrong if I cherry pick a stage to play. Like any good musical performance, Sayonara Wild Hearts is one that should always be experienced in full. From start to finish.