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Short, but sweet - a romp between worlds

Coming into Soma Spirits, one might consider this game to be a light-spirited journey following two brothers, Heart and Soul, as they attempt to bring balance back to their world.

But is there more to it?

Once you move past the cute, sleek pixels of Soma, you begin a journey in earnest that feels and plays like it could be a distant cousin to Earthbound, for it possess much of the same charm and appeal.

Can you see the charm and appeal I mention? I certainly do!

Graphics and Mapping

While exploring the world of Soma, we're given a brief look into the changes that each half of the world possesses. This is done by portals that pop up throughout the environment, and interacting with them transports you to the opposite world within seconds.

Some might wonder if this is handled tediously or not, so let me put that worry to rest - the locales in this game are well executed maps that have small puzzle elements to them that never become frustrating or derivative of the journey. You won't find yourself backtracking too far to find what you need to move forward, and all the while you'll be enjoying the quirky locations and what they offer - from a pleasant woodland area to a spooky-yet-cute graveyard (complete with matching ghosts and critters).


Soma Spirits may be a short game with an average run time tallying up to about five hours, which doesn't seem like much until you take into account there are multiple endings.

This is handled primarily by the way you choose to approach pivotal points in the plot. And in this game, the writing portrays a grey area for every choice that neither feels poorly executed or hammed up. Every character you meet has a distinguishable personality and traits to them that make you sympathize with them as you decide the best course of action.

And it's not just the main plot points that can be influenced - sprinkled throughout the game are smaller choices that change the fates of NPCs unrelated to the plot, and seeing the ways in which your choices can change the dialogue and the way the people in the world react is what will bring you back to this game.

If you don't fall in love with Soul, then you've no Heart.

Another aspect about the story I found quite enjoyable was the way characters were written - each one has flavor, and stands out in some way. Heart is the ever-endearing optimist while Soul is the realist who points out the issues at hand. They may clash but they work well as serving as the main party for the entirety of the game.

Music & Sound
Yet another area that Soma shines brightly is in it's audio presentation. As you travel through the areas of Soma, both worlds have unique themes that help both worlds stand out. Music in the world of Joy tends to be upbeat, plucky, or soothing, but in the world of Sorrow it can be somber or melancholic. There were times I would find myself humming along to a good number of the tracks because they're simply that catchy.

The shifts in music apply to combat, too: Each world has it's own battle music, which brings me to my next section.


As stated earlier, the environments contain light puzzle elements, and enemies roam the maps, waiting to pounce.

But while this might concern some people...the weakest area in the game is in it's combat. In my play-throughs of the game, I did minimal grinding (beating my first play-through at level twenty-one) and found that most enemies went down quickly and didn't have what felt like the punch to pose a real threat unless underleveled. That's not to say combat is completely pointless!

When you switch between the world of Joy and Sorrow, Heart and Soul can only use certain abilities. For example: If you combat someone in the World of Joy, Heart will have access to his attack skills while Soul will only be able to use his support abilities, and vice versa.

Enemy weaknesses shift between worlds, too, so there is some thrill to fighting new enemies as you have to learn their weaknesses if you want to put them down before they can do any major amount of damage to you. Heart and Soul compliment one another very well in combat (Heart is more a mage than his brother, who can buff attack and defense), and the enemies are fun to look at.

The mechanics in play during combat are SOLID, no denying that. But a bit of heightened difficulty would make subsequent playthroughs more fun for some. Especially if you've beaten the game and want to do another run to find more endings.

Final Thoughts

Despite the lack of difficulty, Soma Spirits is an enjoyable journey from the beginning to whichever one of the five endings you manage to achieve.

I believe that the journey to see what becomes of Soma, Heart, and Soul...is what this game is truly about. Their growth, and interaction with their world as they begin to understand that sometimes it's not a case of black or white...but the area in between that we all must travel through, is what it's all about.

I give Soma Spirits a 4.5 out of 5, and encourage newcomers and hardcore gamers alike to download the title, and to simply enjoy the journey.

-Edited to bump the rating, as I felt that deducting an entire star was unfair for the small gripe I had-


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Thank you for the great review! I'm happy it got you thinking about what kinds of grey areas exist in our everyday lives.

You're pretty spot-on about the "distant cousin of EarthBound" thing. EB was definitely an inspiration, but I wanted it to be distant enough from that game that it stands on its own two feet and didn't come off as overly-referential.

I'll admit that I had the Undertale soundtrack on loop a lot as I was developing this so I'm sure that factored in somehow. Haha.
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