The Stillness of the Wind (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Athanasios 13.02.2020

Review for The Stillness of the Wind on Nintendo Switch

The evolution of the video game medium is such, that the industry is now a complete library that can satiate everyone's taste. Games are no longer only arcade-esque score chasers. Games can be purposely slow and meditative, rather than just action-packed shooters and brawlers, and they can also focus far more in atmosphere and wordless storytelling than shooting a gun and jumping around. One such example is the melancholic farming sim known as The Stillness of the Wind. Sadly, this isn't the best example, despite it having a few good things going for it.

The first 15 minutes or so of a video game can help players decide if they should keep on playing. The first 15 minutes of The Stillness of the Wind will leave you confused. Even after completing the darn thing, it's hard to tell what it's supposed to be. It begins as a relaxing farm sim, where you'll spend the next couple of days trying to figure out what you must do. From preparing the soil and growing your veggies, to taking care of your goats, and crafting all sorts of yummy recipes, this doesn't communicate its systems very well. Add to that an unhelpful UI and control scheme, plus an assortment of bugs, and it's clear that this isn't exactly the most polished of indies.

Soon players will understand that this is meant to be experienced, not just played and beaten. You are following an elderly woman named Talma, as she slowly does her daily chores around her farm, living an extremely solitary life, with the only break being the occasional letter from her family who lives far away from her land. A relaxing, and easy-going deal, this is basically an open-ended, slow burn, that can sadly get extremely tedious, first due to the lack of variety in terms of task that can be done, but mostly because it's a bit too slow, even though that's definitely on purpose. More than anything else, this is a sad story about loneliness, and, eventually, death.

Screenshot for The Stillness of the Wind on Nintendo Switch

Don't let the warm palette, and soothing sounds of the countryside fool you. This isn't a slightly more moody Harvest Moon, but a tale of an old woman at her final days, with the letters that occasionally arrive to bring her news from the outside world, getting more and more disturbing, eventually leading to a depressing finale where everything, well, just ends. Should you get discouraged from that? Should the developer make this a more light-hearted affair, with a typically good, or at least bittersweet ending? No. A creator should not cater to the emotional "needs" of people. This is dark and that's about it. The sad part is that it's also extremely boring.

There are some titles that can be monotonous and tedious on purpose, yet pull that off very well. In here, every single action feels like an enormous waste of time. In essence, you are doing boring work for 20 or so minutes, while waiting to enjoy one minute of story progression. The plot is interesting, sure, and the increasingly bleak atmosphere has been handled rather well, but this fails having a right balance of fun gameplay, and atmosphere. More than anything else, this is unsure of what it wants to be. Is it a farm sim, a relaxing sandbox, an emotive story, or a survival game? The answer: it is a short, one-hour story, that's about two hours longer than it should be.

Screenshot for The Stillness of the Wind on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

5/10
Rated 5 out of 10

Average

Old lady Talma's melancholic tale of utter loneliness and inevitable end does provide some tasty breadcrumbs every now and then, but as a whole, this farm sim/narrative-driven title overstays its welcome, doesn't manage to be enjoyable, and ends up being a chore that just happens to include some pretty, and mildly coloured vistas, as well as a nice calm-and-then-ominous aura.

Developer

Memory of God

Publisher

Fellow Traveller

Genre

Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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