You don’t have to have played League of Legends to enjoy Song of Nunu. In fact, you don’t even have to have heard of League of Legends. This sweet platforming adventure tells the story of a young boy and his Yeti friend as they journey across a land of ice in search of a legendary relic.
This isn’t your typical 3D platformer, though. Don’t expect to be jumping on enemy heads and hoarding gold coins as part of a massive collectathon. Song of Nunu is instead story-focused, so as you move through its beautifully-designed world, you’ll enjoy the rapport between Nunu and Willump – boy and Yeti, respectively – and, through flashbacks, dreams and dialogue, learn more about both characters and their lives.
You’ll control both Nunu and Willump at times, although you don’t get to choose. Sometimes Nunu will be on foot, and other times he’ll be riding along on the back of Willump. The lack of control can be frustrating, but at least it takes the onus away from you: if you’re ever stuck, you know the solution lies with whatever character you currently have control of.
Even so, it’s likely you will get stuck from time to time. Song of Nunu is filled with puzzles, and most solutions revolve around the magical flute that Nunu is equipped with. You’ll need to learn a new language of musical notes, playing the note that matches with a symbol carved into a rock, which in turn will have an effect somewhere in the environment. Maybe a platform will move, or maybe a door will open.
Often, you’ll need to play a sequence of notes, with each one causing a particular action to happen. You’ll need to time these just right, paying attention as platforms move with each note, often creating a path for Willump to pass through. Some of these puzzles are frustrating, and while Nunu’s dialogue may often give you a hint, he doesn’t always speak when you want him to – and there’s no way to prompt for a clue.
The puzzles here are clever, though, we’ll hand Song of Nunu that. The first time we came across those musical runes, we sighed, sure we’d never be able to remember what any of them meant. Half an hour later, we were reading them like a pro thanks to the clever symbols that somehow resemble the series of triggers and shoulder buttons we need to press on the controller. That’s some seriously great game design.
This is a beautifully-designed game in all aspects, quite honestly. What it lacks in visual fidelity – it’s clear it’s been made with Switch in mind – it makes up for in its artwork and environmental design. This ice-covered world is simply beautiful, and each new location will have you pausing and reaching for the ‘screenshot’ button.
The characters, too, are excellently designed. Willump is incredibly lovable, and we’ve had a blast simply watching his actions while he’s been out of our control. From sitting on the ground for a little rest to scratching his back on a rock, he feels like he’s got an entire personality, and it shines from every movement. Nunu is a delight, too: a cheeky young boy who, despite facing hardship in his short life, is still filled with wonder and spirit.
We’d say Song of Nunu: A League of Legends Story will appeal to players of all ages, but its puzzles may leave some of the youngest pretty stumped. Still, the whole family is going to get a kick out of this delightful duo and their epic adventure. And with the wintry season approaching, there’s no better time to snuggle up on the sofa and dive into a snow-covered, magical world.
Song of Nunu: A League of Legends Story is available on PC and Switch.