Sable

Ever since playing Yonder, I’ve been itching to find the next great “casual adventure.” Sable might just be the closest experience I’ve found to Yonder. It features a big-ish open world that’s broken up into distinctly mapped sections, lots of mountains and space wreckage to climb and explore, and small communities of people who dole out side quests. And, of course, there’s no combat or death. It’s the perfect chill game that only occasionally gets derailed by an obtuse puzzle. The majority of the time, you’re just cruising around the desert, soaking in the gorgeous visuals, and looking for the next obstacle to climb. There are some really great moments where you need to meticulously plan out how to reach certain heights. And there’s almost always a reward at the top, be it money, new clothes, or a “chum egg” that can later be exchanged for more stamina.

I also like how the story is framed. There’s no “darkness” or whatever you have to rid the world of. You’re just a girl who’s ready to find herself by going out and having adventures on her own. Who you choose to become at the end depends on which mask you don, so the main goal is to find more masks. Alas, it wasn’t clear to me how you get new masks until I was already nearly done with the game. Sure, some of them you just find, but most are only obtained by first collecting three badges and then handing those badges over to some sort of mask wizard. That’s fine and all; I just wish I had known that was the process sooner so I could have been swapping between more mask options. But the game is so good that, even after finishing the main quest, I still pressed on to find the remaining masks and fulfill all of the other achievements.

So, yes, I highly recommend Sable, but there’s something you should be aware of first. It’s pretty damn janky. Like, this is one of the buggier games I’ve played in a long time. My character would frequently get hung up on ledges, the hoverbike would flip around uncontrollably, button prompts would disappear, etc. Ten hours into the game, I completely borked my save file by doing a quest out of order. The game simply would not load afterwards. Fortunately, the gamesave is just a plain English JSON file, so I could go in there and delete the last few things I did to reset that quest. But the fact that I had to do that is a little unnerving. Oh, I know you’re thinking, “If a game is that buggy, is it really that good?” And the answer is still yes. If there was combat and death in Sable, I think the bugs would have killed the experience. But it’s so relaxing and rewarding otherwise that the jankiness is forgivable.

Reviewer

Clark
Gamer, programmer, writer, and educator.

Published by

Clark

Gamer, programmer, writer, and educator.