As a massive fan of Riot Games, I was beyond excited to try out Song of Nunu which features some of my favorite characters from the series. Developed by Tequila Works, the game delivered more than it promised, and I am glad Freljord is being explored more as it is a region full of narrative potential. In my review of Song of Nunu, I’ll talk about all the good, bad, and the ugly.
With that said, buckle up, and let’s dive right in! Keep in mind that I won’t spoil any story elements from the game.
Story and Characters
The story of Song of Nunu follows the main protagonist – Nunu and his best friend, Willump, the big fuzzy Yeti who is the last of his kind.
The basic premise of the game is centered around the quest of Nunu to locate his mother in the frozen lands of Freljord. It’s a simple setup that relies heavily on character interactions, and the bond between both Nunu and Willump.
Throughout your adventure, you will come across many familiar faces if you’ve played League of Legends or are familiar with the universe. Some of these characters will help you on your quest while others will go out of their way to try to stop you from reaching your goal. Adding other characters from Freljord is a nice touch as it expands the universe of the game.
The overall narrative is enjoyable- albeit a bit childish at times, which isn’t a bad thing at all! I had fun uncovering the story of the game and meeting so many cool characters (get it? Cool characters because it’s Freljord). There are plenty of hard-hitting emotional moments throughout the game which capitalize on its premise, and a bunch of twists that I didn’t see coming.
The main gameplay loop in Song of Nunu centers around exploration, platforming, and solving a variety of puzzles spread throughout the game.
Some of the puzzles actually make you think despite seeming easy at first. Most puzzles make good use of each character’s abilities and push you to focus on your surroundings.
One thing I didn’t enjoy as much as I thought I would is the flute system. You can use your flute to play notes and create songs to solve certain puzzles. However, it’s only a matter of remembering which button plays what note so that you can combine them and solve the puzzle. It feels underutilized, and maybe a few challenging puzzles could’ve gone a long way.
Apart from this, you will sometimes have to slide down paths of ice on Willump which is a nice change of pace from the regular gameplay. Those are fun segments where you don’t have to do anything other than go left or right and use the occasional snowball to destroy rubble.
While on Willump, you can quickly move around and sprint which makes traversal easy. However, when you get off Willump and are playing as Nunu, you’ll be quite slow and sprinting won’t make much of a difference. While this is clearly how the game is designed, walking around as Nunu felt like a drag as it was often extremely slow.
Despite being a linear adventure, you can find tons of secrets around the area. You will come across different Murals with gorgeous art that add to the worldbuilding, and expand on the lore of Freljord in a meaningful way. Having the ability to find secrets that give more backstory and add to the world is always a good thing!
Plus, you can even find cute Poros hiding in various areas. If you approach them, Nunu will give them a biscuit that Willump made to comfort the Poro. This will make them happy and unlock a big picture that you can look at from the menu. Again, this doesn’t add to the gameplay but it is a nice thing to have as it encourages exploration – especially for completionists.
Overall, it is a linear experience so make sure that you look around whenever you can to find cool secrets.
Moving on to another aspect that the game excels in – platforming. Throughout the game, you will have to jump across gaps, climb walls, and cross lakes to progress. Song of Nunu does a wonderful job at this since the controls feel extremely responsive and you’ll always jump or move where you want. This makes the entire platforming experience enjoyable without feeling too encumbering.
Whether you are playing as Nunu or Willump, you will have a fun time jumping around trying to reach the next area. Another thing that I like is that even if you accidentally miss a jump or fall off, the game will quickly restart from the checkpoint without any “game over” screen. This saves a lot of time and keeps frustration low as you immediately jump right back in and get your jumps correct this time.
Finally, let’s talk about the combat. Unfortunately, this is a department that is lacking as the combat is very simple. As expected, the game starts with easy enemies that are there to teach you the basics. However, the enemies remained easy throughout the game with only a few challenging encounters. This is made even easier as you can dodge their attacks since most enemies have a long wind-up attack animation.
Other than accidentally jumping off cliffs, I never died during combat no matter how carelessly I was playing. While having an easy combat system isn’t a bad thing, it certainly removes the difficulty from the game. The developers did add light and strong attacks so that you can mix and match to perform combos, but it still didn’t click with me.
However, despite the easy combat, the finisher system is quite fun. After depleting the enemy’s HP, you can use your finisher on them to heal your character and take them out. There are multiple animations for both Nunu and Willump which keeps things fresh and interesting to look at.
The presentation is where Song of Nunu shines most. As with other Riot projects, the animations and art style are top-notch. This is something you will notice from the get-go.
As soon as the game starts, it’s clear it’s going for a cute stylized art style that feels different and familiar enough to stand out. Even if you ignore the character design, the environment looks absolutely phenomenal.
Once the game starts, you’ll be placed in an awesome area where you can truly see how stunning the game looks. Apart from the art style, the overall voice acting is amazing. This is to be expected from Riot Games as they often have top-tier voice acting in their games.
It’s nice to see that the original voice actors retained their roles and delivered perfection. I had a great time listening to the banter between Nunu and his trusty yeti – Willump. Plus, the OST is a treat to listen to as well. Depending on the scene in the game, the OST will further immerse you thanks to its tone. When it comes to presentation, the game is perfect, in my opinion.
Overall, I think Song of Nunu is a brilliant game that outshines all of its flaws. As a platformer, the game does well with the control scheme and overall responsiveness. To top it all off, the art style and amazing voice acting keep the player hooked and wanting more. Despite a simple premise, the character interactions pack an emotional punch and they’re a treat to follow.
However, the combat is the lacking point of the game for me and never found its footing. That’s not to say that the combat is bad; it’s just not what a player would feel satisfied with.
Despite the flawed combat, Song of Nunu is a wonderful game that takes the player on a wholesome journey filled with fun moments, puzzles, and platforming.
What did you think of our Song of Nunu: A League of Legends Story Review? Share what you think about it in the comments below.
This review is based on the PC version of Song of Nunu: A League of Legends Story. The key was provided by Riot Games.