Windbound is a survival adventure game developed by Deep Silver and published by Koch Media. It released on all major platforms on August 28, 2020 and this review concentrates on the PlayStation 4 version. Windbound is a beautiful game with the esthetic and theme being very reminiscent of the movie Moana. All the way to the necklace that our character Kara wears looking very much like the heart of Tafiti.
As Kara, you are a warrior, caught at sea in a fierce storm, adrift from your tribe. Thrown from your boat, you are tossed on to the shores of the Forbidden Islands, a mysterious paradise. With no boat, no food or tools, just the will and skill to survive, we must uncover this beautiful island’s rich resources. Craft tools and weapons to hunt and defend ourself against nature itself with its wild and fantastical creatures.
Windbound is fairly easy to master and very chill to play. It is a really good chill time learning the crafting and then getting stuck into the main objectives once competent. My first couple of hours was spent learning the basics and paddling around from island to island. Once I was able to craft a sail for my boat, it really was game on! The most fun I had in the game though was sailing as the wind mechanics are excellent.
Once I had a fully fledged boat equipped with a sail, it was a blast speeding around the map to search new islands. This took me way back to year 8 boating classes in high school. I never knew that knowing how to use a sail and allow for wind direction and steering angles would ever come in handy – now it has. This sped up the process of being able to go directly to the islands I needed to to grab the three magic shells required to access the portal on the last island to finish the chapter and move the story along.
Battling a Razorback or a Gorehorn for the first time was really fun too. I only used a sling initially and later was able to craft a bone tipped spear which was really satisfying beating them. I did find a small advantage in battling these. If I stood on a rock face just off the ground, I could pelt the beasts with rocks with my sling and the animal couldn’t actually get to me. It wasnt as fun but made for some easy meals when stamina was getting low.
I was able to harvest loads of steaks for my fire which replenished health through eating. Hunger causes the stamina bar to deplete over time and once it gets low, it starts to drop your health fast. Food does degrade when it’s in your inventory so it’s best to only pick it up when you need it. In the second chapter, the game opens up a new map with larger islands to explore. There were some different materials to discover but the gameplay loop is much the same. Find the three islands with a magic shell and collect them before moving on to the portal island to finish the chapter.
Overall, Windbound is a beautful game with outstanding sailing mechanics to explore the islands. It does get repetitive around the 2-hour mark though. Not having a very fleshed out story doesn’t provide enough motivation to keep playing longer than a few hours.
Written by: @LukeyBangerz