Voyage review for PlayStation, Switch, Xbox, PC

Platform: PS5
Also on: PC, Xbox Series X, Xbox One, PS4, Switch
Publisher: Ratalaika Games
Developer: Venturous
Medium: Digital
Players: 1-2
Online: No
ESRB: E

As much as I like Ratalaika’s catalogue, I think it’s safe to say that they’re not exactly known for publishing very original or distinctive games. Even when we’re talking about the publisher’s very best games – say, Nexomon, or Ultra Hat Dimension – we’re still talking about titles that follow in the obvious footsteps of other games, without doing much to stray from the originals.

This is what makes Voyage so strange. It’s published by Ratalaika, but it doesn’t instantly make you think of countless other games. It looks like a wholly original creation, which makes it a rarity.

Admittedly, the operative word here is “looks”, since when it comes to gameplay, Voyage hardly breaks new ground. While it offers you minimal clues as to what to do when you start playing, eventually you figure out that it’s a pretty standard puzzle-platformer. What’s more, the puzzles are very rarely challenging – generally speaking, you’re just pulling and pushing various objects back and forth, and giving the other player a hand up to reach ledges. For the odd time when you can’t figure out what to do next, there’s a hint button – though, as with everything else in Voyage, it’s up to you to find that out, since it can’t be stated enough just how little direction this game gives you.

However, it’s easy to overlook how untaxing Voyage’s gameplay is on account of how gorgeous it is. Every single environment you come across is beautiful, and each of them are different enough from the others that you can’t help but stop every time you reach a new area to appreciate how nice it looks. As I said above, given how much Ratalaika games usually try to fit into what you’d expect from their chosen genres, it’s startling to see a game like this, that doesn’t look like anything else I can think of.

Moreover, Voyage is probably the first game I’ve ever played from Ratalaika where its visuals are so good that they make the game worth playing, even if the gameplay itself isn’t that challenging or exciting. It may not mean that you need to stop what you’re doing right now to play Voyage, but it does mean that if you decide to pick this game up, you may get a lot more out of it than you could’ve possibly expected going in.

Ratalaika Games provided us with a Voyage PS4/5 code for review purposes.

Grade: B

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