Sable – This is a Strange Game But Freaking Beautiful

Sable is a very promising story-rich open-world game with lots of punch in the aesthetics and some very captivating design qualities. Most noticeably, is the 2D illustration in a 3D environment, but also the story. Gamers will feel like they are flipping through a really high-quality graphic novel that has come to life on whatever system they’re using to play it on.

I wondered throughout the demo whether this was an alien world, a fantasy world, an ancient world, or something that exists within its own celestial sphere of storytelling. In fact, it is all of these things. I wasn’t sure if I had enough emotional reserves lately to handle another stunningly beautiful game, but it turns out I did. So, I’ll tell you what’s going on with Sable today. Let’s go!

This game is part of The Indie Houses event on Steam which has been featuring several indie games in development this past week. Today is the final day, and this concludes my series for the event.

Thanks also to Indie Game Collective, who has collaborated with The Indie Houses event for us.

Gameplay in Sable is Unique and Promising

Although it’s a league of its own, Sable’s intro is very familiar–mechanically at least. Ah yes, the ancient temple with scalable walls and tutorial obstacles. Yep, it is right off the bat heavily reminiscent of Breath of the Wild. It might be wise to consider this sort of thing a whole genre at this point. And yet, as I said, the 2D illustration mapped on a 3D world just looks so fresh and new.

The tutorial zone is an enclosed valley on an alien planet (I checked this.) It’s a desert-strewn village with some shamanistic/scrapper qualities. The interaction with characters has rich dialogue and several different options for conversing. You can just play it cool, you can ruffle feathers (a bit,) or you can be quite polite. NPCs in the village all emanate a kind of pleasant demeanor that was nice.

The entire game is based on your character, “Sable,” and her rite of passage for something called a “gliding.” From what I can gather, it seems your primary goal is to explore this tattered world filled with old spaceships and ancient relics and find things. As such, it’s incredibly beautiful of course. There are some amazing-looking areas, and any lingering BoW similarities are demarcated for Sable’s own unique open-world interpretations.

Open World Features in Sable

  • Explore the world at your own pace
  • Discover secrets and collectibles
  • Customize your bike and drive it (which is quite fun by the way)
  • Climb stuff – (This especially, you can scale just about anything!)
  • Explore as you like, glide around, and explore on foot
  • Solve puzzles if you like (it’s up to you)
  • Encounter other characters/nomads, and help them with tasks
  • “Original Soundtrack by Japanese Breakfast” (Indie music & indie games, awesome concept)

Interesting Aspects of Sable’s Invitation

Sable makes me feel like I’m in a real sci-fi world with authentic excavated wonders to unlock. I have always liked this type of game but I’m so happy there’s more now! The lack of top indies that do this coming to mind is understandable since it is a humongous undertaking to create an entire world like this. And the natural terrain, though illustrated, is highly realistic and detailed. I admired the patterns of the cliffs around the valley as I sputtered through from the village.

I think this one is going to be very highly regarded after release. If you follow the Steam link below you can wishlist it, the best thing to do is to support game devs of awesome games!

Off I Go

One last thing I want to mention. The music, from “Japanese Breakfast,” a very good indie band, sounds so amazing on the soundtrack for Sable. My internal critique was stamping approval over every aesthetic choice in Sable as I played it, and nonetheless the music.

I’ve included the steam link below. This was a special preview I was able to get for The Indie Houses, but there are videos and pictures there, so check it out.

Thank you so much for reading Mr. Dave Pizza. If you like what you read, please have a look around, and come back again! Thanks!

Til Nord – Take On The Wilderness With Your In-Game Snowmobile

Til Nord is a free open-world snowmobile game released by students at Breda University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands. The gameplay is straightforward with its mobile open-world gameplay and pulls off a finished level of design from the beginning. Drive your snowmobile around the Loften Islands of Norway. Day and night, bright snowy roads and northern light skies at night, solving delivery missions for enterprises around the village like lumber mills and fisheries. Or test your skill at time-lapse contests with your learned speeding abilities.

Til Nord: Student Games Are Cool

This is, I think, around the third time I’ve done a full review on a university game that I have stumbled across, including the recent one for Rag Labs and, also, Beasts of Maravilla Island. Each experience has been really fresh and rewarding, which encourages me to pay attention to this very specific category of games more carefully. This is not exactly an oversight in the past, but simply a realization of something new that is happening.

Beyond this review, there is a ton of information on the project’s student dev team here: If game development is something that interests you, definitely check this out.

Til Nord: Good, Clean Fun, and Snowmen

As I mentioned, this game is really well polished. Generally, there are limitations to fixed resources on a substantial game, but this one pulled it off. Start off delivering a fish shipment to the mayor on your snowmobile. You’ll swish through snow, up and over hills, and follow a compass to find your way there. Some of the other missions are delivering fuel to the lighthouse, racing through a junkyard, and opening some locked gates from inside an official facility for its workers. There is a substantial amount of content at any rate. And as I mentioned, this is free.

Oh, you can also run over snowmen as an achievement. I thought that was pretty funny.

There is no violence or anxiety-creating moments in Til Nord, no negativity at all really, which is so nice. People generally accept that conflict is necessary for compelling gameplay, which is true, but there are different ways you can do it. It’s been so long since I’ve played a game like this that didn’t involve mob bosses or alien battles. It was just really chill and relaxing really. And that is my favorite kind of game. Not at all boring. Actually, I was very interested in the missions and loved zooming through the forests and streets to track down markers on my compass. I expected a wild snow wolf to hunt me at some point, but it never did.

Some Tips And Comments

The game is about 8 GB of content, which seems rather huge, but may correlate a lot to the quality of the map and riding physics. It might mean there is a ton of content though. There is plenty of time to figure out nuances for this game though, which is obviously a labor of love. I’m always looking for games to pass the time, and this one is checking all the boxes: indie, academic, Scandinavian, open-world, racing. No joke, that’s a magic combo.

One tip from my experience if you fall off your snowmobile and can’t get up, just press R for respawning. That worked quite well for me. If you’re stuck and still on your snowmobile, try reversing for a few moments, you might be unstuck.

And if you like snowmobiles or the Norwegian ambiance, this is the game for you. I have never had a snowmobile, but they seem to enjoy riding through our yard in the winter, aha, but no relation there, and I’d probably love it if I ever tried. Also, it’s very pleasant to watch the northern lights in the sky, aka aurora borealis, while navigating through coastal terrain and bright-colored structure.

Final Thoughts

If you want to play this game, I will link to the Steam page below. It’s free! Not just a demo, totally free! So check it out and show your support. I’m sure they won’t mind.

Thank you so much for reading I am grateful to have an audience like you and something new to try every day and I hope you enjoy this content. I have reviewed many games, and in that way, I do that. So, have a look around the site and read as much as you like!