Soul Fjord, a free to play Ouya exclusive from Airtight Games, has the distinct advantage and disadvantage of being creatively directed by Kim Swift. Her name may be familiar to those who have played the excellent Portal series as well as Quantum Conundrum. Needless to say, with that track record the expectations of anything from Airtight are high.
Being the combination of several gaming genres: rogue-likes, action role playing and rhythm games is quite ambitious. Players control Magnus Jones, who for whatever reason has not been allowed Valhalla. Magnus lives in a world that I can only describe as a 70s blaxploition movie version of Norse mythology. He is not pleased with his displacement and vows to rhythmically hack and slash his way back up to his rightful place.
Everything appears to be a traditional hack and slash game until you notice the beat track that stays fixed underneath Magnus. Offensive and defensive moves are more effective when they are done to the beat of the music. Striking enemies inflicts much more damage on beat as does blocking enemy attacks. One of my issues was that the
system seemed better in theory than execution. When the combat worked it still felt a bit detached from the music. To be fair, it could be an issue with my TV’s syncing. I had more issues getting the timing down for blocking than I did striking. I hope that a combination of running the calibration again and some updates from Airtight resolves
Soul Fjord can be played for free and it never begs you to spend any money. Should you choose to spend some it would be on platinum discs/records which allow you to Soulbind items to Magnus. Soulbound items stay with you even after you die. Chests can also be opened by spending discs. Ultimately Soul Fjord is a really cool experiment that is just a couple of elements shy of being something really special.
Recommendation: Try it.
Developer: Airtight Games
Publisher: Airtight Games
Genre: action RPG rogue-like rhythm game
Price: Free to play with microtransactions