Puzzle games have always been a favorite of mine, and The Sojourn has been added to the list. Mixing together beautiful graphics and soundtrack with thought-provoking puzzles, the game has become a favorite of mine overnight. While some may be put off by how simplistic it may look, the game has much more depth as you play.
The story behind The Sojourn is very slowly revealed throughout the gameplay through the vividly changing environment. It’s a little difficult at first to understand and in some ways it’s up for interpretation by the player. While The Sojourn is vivid in design and environment, there is no dialogue within the game. When playing the game, you follow whisps of light to the next destination. Leading into the next puzzle, you find the light and dark world with new mechanics and puzzles to overcome.
The gameplay behind The Sojourn is very puzzle based. There are some super neat mechanics that I enjoyed, and they are all enhanced by the game design. Pulling them all together is the sound design, and adds to the environment of the game and world building.
I can say if you don’t like puzzles, don’t get The Sojourn. The game is completely puzzle oriented with puzzle after puzzle, all using the mechanics you’ve been introduced to. While some may be intimidated by the puzzles, know that the game is calming and though some are time based (like the harp, or the dark world steps). You can really take your time, think it over, and come to your own solution for the Sojourn.
Many of the mechanics behind The Sojourn are unique and distinctly designed for the game. Use the pads to go between the light and dark world, teleport statues, and harps.
- Pads – the pads within the level will take you to the dark world, where bridges or other necessary level design appear; while in the light world they disappear. In this, your steps count down your time duration while having dark world power.
- Statues – there are statues you can use to solve the puzzle, and they can teleport you closer to the goal or they may need to be placed in a chamber to unlock a gate. All the statues can be teleported to your location with line of sight while you have the dark world power.
- Harps – playing the harp while in the dark world will reform a bridge and create a way forward, but it is on a time limit until the song finishes. The harp can only be activated while in the dark world, but you can cross the bridge while in the light.
If you’re more interested in how the mechanics work, Chris from Iceberg Interactive has created a video discussing and guiding the mechanics.
The game design is really beautiful. When you open up a new puzzle area you can see the world building itself, and each one has its own title. Going through the puzzles, you then find more story being built around you with the two light whisps, guiding you forward. Some may consider the blocks and levels to be basic, but I think they are gorgeous and enhance the gameplay. You are truly taken to a different world with The Sojourn, and it’s all due to the graphics, level design, and game mechanics.
While The Sojourn doesn’t have any distinct dialogue to work with, the sound design is very good. There is ambiance music, going between the light and dark worlds, and the building of levels. Not to mention the harp plays a short tune for the duration of it up, and there is a celebration sound at the end of every puzzle. If you want a bit of example, view the official launch trailer.
The Sojourn is a beautifully calming game that lets you relax and take in the environment, story, and puzzles. There are no threats in the game, and if you fall off an invisible bridge you just restart the level. This gives you the availability to really take the moment and look at the puzzle, your mechanical options, and how you want to take on this new challenge. While there are obstacles in the way during the game, The Sojourn can overcome them with your help.
The Sojourn is out now officially on the Epic Games Store, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. You can officially stay up to date on all news through the Iceberg Interactive Discord server and Twitter. The game will be on Steam in 2020, and can be added to your wish-list.