Review – Sonority

Just ahead of the Christmas period, Nintendo decided to show off a bunch of indies dropping on the Switch, either the same day, or in the nearish future. Part of this list of games were the previously covered The Punchuin and Melatonin. More along the lines of the latter, they also announced and released Sonority. Sonority is a music-based adventure game with the entire plot line simply being trying to find a melody that is meant to have healing properties, which will be used to heal a big talking bear.

There’s not a lot of room for error with your note early on.

Sonority aims to hit all the right notes in its adventure. You’ll use music notes to solve puzzles that will have various effects on your surroundings. In the beginning, the puzzles can feel a little bit random, a bit too obtuse, but it doesn’t take too long to figure out how things work. Let’s say, for instance, that you have a chain of three notes, which will move two different platforms. The first note you use is the benchmark; it won’t have any direct effect. The second note though, if one pitch higher, than it will move the platform up one step, whereas if it’s lower, it will move it down a step. This note is then your benchmark, so the next note just needs to correlate with that one. Simple, right? If it sounds difficult, or you’re just simply not musically inclined, then Sonority does offer a numbered version instead of a musical scale version, so it basically just turns into maths.

Top 10 characters of the year. Or the previous one. Point stands.

I will say, I really appreciate the voice acting throughout Sonority, especially the Raccoon. It has a great level of sass and just a pinch of “I really can’t be bothered dealing with you.” Kind of perfect for a Raccoon, without just making it another “bad” character that may want to steal everything it sees, silly little bandits. There is a downside to the sound throughout Sonority though, which is the music. For a game so focused on the idea of finding this healing melody, and using the scales to solve puzzles, there is a significant lack of music, even ambient music throughout the game. If it wasn’t for the puzzles that require you to match the notes being played, this could essentially be played without sound on and you wouldn’t miss much.

Solve a puzzle, earn some music that can only be heard when you’re within 5ft of it.

While Sonority does look okay, the abandoned temple look gets boring very quickly, and there’s little to no change as you progress to collecting all the different notes. So, if the game looks pretty identical throughout, surely it nails the look right? Not exactly. It does feel very pixelated and almost as if it’s a struggle to run. Even the frame rate seems to struggle at times throughout even some of the most basic looking areas. It’s nothing massively detrimental, but when you’re walking down some stairs and there’s nothing on screen besides you, the stairs, and some grass, there’s no reason for the frames to struggle more than Pokemon Scarlet.

In the words of MatPat: “LOOOOOOORE”.

That is essentially the ups and downs of Sonority. It’s not a super long game by any means, but it’s a nice little game for anyone that is into puzzlers, especially if you’re particularly into music and its theory. Sonority isn’t revolutionising the genre, but the usage of music and understanding of notes and scales could be good for anyone younger who is into or looking to have a better understanding of it, giving it a surprisingly educational recommendation at the end of the day.

Graphics: 4.5

Unfortunately, Sonority not only doesn’t look interesting, but what it does have to offer feels like it struggles with.

Gameplay: 7.5

I really enjoyed the music aesthetics to the puzzle genre, it gave it a fresh feel compared to so many other puzzle games.

Sound: 4.0

Big scores for the Raccoon, very well written and performed. The focus being on the notes needing to be played makes sense, but there are a lot of in between sections that could use some ambient music to help the world feel more full.

Fun Factor: 7.0

As a whole, Sonority was a nice little title. It’s not very long, but a good 5-6 hours depending on your knowledge of music and scales. It was a decent play and would be a pretty good sale pick up.

Final Verdict: 6.0

Sonority is available now on Nintendo Switch, PC.

Reviewed on Nintendo Switch.

A copy of Sonority was provided by the publisher.