Windbound Isn’t The Zelda Copycat It Looks Like
Look at a screenshot of Windbound and its art direction (a vibrant, watercolour style), will likely remind you of a very well-loved Legend of Zelda game–Breath Of The Wild. Watch a video of Windbound in action, and seeing its focus on sailing through vast oceans might instead remind you of another Legend of Zelda game–Wind Waker. Actually start playing Windbound, however, and it’s quickly very clear that despite those stylistic influences, it plays nothing like a Zelda game. Which is, honestly, a relief.
Windbound is the second release from 5 Lives Studios, a team of Australian developers who previously released Satellite Reigns, a spiritual successor to the much-loved Syndicate games. Neither of those games are like Windbound either. Alright, alright–Windbound is a third-person survival game, the kind where resource gathering and crafting tools and supplies to stay alive are the main concerns that dominate the second-to-second gameplay loop. These things are very popular, I hear.
Windbound structures its survival as a single-player rogue-lite, much like Don’t Starve. You start the game as a woman named Kara, who is shipwrecked and separated from her clan. She wakes up on a tiny island, which barely has enough resources for you to build a basic canoe to row your way outta there. From there, your goal is to head towards the next procedurally generated landmass that makes up Windbound’s archipelagic world and hopefully find a way to get back to your people.