Song of Nunu: A League of Legends Story review: Not quite ready yeti

Song of Nunu: A League of Legends Story review: Not quite ready yeti
Images via Tequila Works

Written by 

Jack Roberts

Published 

30th Oct 2023 07:00

Song of Nunu: A League of Legends Story is a game that welcomes you to jump right in whether you’re entirely entrenched in the intricate lore of League of Legends or not. As a spin-off of the iconic MOBA, the game swaps PvP for platforms and puzzles and expands on an intriguing story and heaps of charm as you explore a stylised world on yeti-back.

Despite its cold environs, Song of Nunu is a cosy winter warmer. However, with an assortment of technical issues, and some unengaging gameplay outside of the puzzles and platforming, Song of Nunu isn’t all smooth sledging and feels a little rough around the edges.

GGRecon Verdict

As spin-offs go, Song of Nunu does a great job at selling the world around its League of Legends origins. As someone with a somewhat cursory knowledge of the game, it was refreshing to learn about a cast of characters that intrinsically tie into Willump and Nunu’s story, from the mighty Braum to the eerie Lissandra. Additionally, its platforming and puzzle elements are seldom boring, and would particularly appeal to a younger audience.

However, my playtime was often bogged down by a myriad of hiccups and glitches that, at times, made it difficult to traverse the world smoothly. Along with some relatively unintuitive combat, I felt it lacked an overall polish that should have been present and could do with a buff-up.

Nonetheless, Song of Nunu will certainly be a fun and cosy adventure for players looking to get started with League of Legends, veterans of the series excited to see the story expanded, or a younger audience looking to experience a family-friendly platformer.

Cold Opening

Willump and Nunu look out across the Freljord in Song of Nunu
Click to enlarge

Song of Nunu’s story revolves entirely around the titular Nunu, and his best friend and ally, Willump, the last of the Yetis in the Freljord. The two of them have gone in search of Nunu’s mother and together with them, we learn about how the two of them became fast friends as they embark on a perilous journey.

When you’re not having snowball fights with or tobogganing on the back of the big blue Yeti, you’ll largely be playing as Nunu as you hop skip and jump across the world, solve musical puzzles and hop on top of Willump to fend off an assortment of enemies with their agendas.

As you explore more, solve puzzles and take a moment to dance or play with Nunu and Willump, you’ll quickly find this is where the bulk of the game’s charm is. The little asides and conversations between the characters help set the tone for quite a cosy adventure.

A boy and his beast

Willump unleashes a gigantic roar in Song of Nunu
Click to enlarge

Song of Nunu shines when it focuses on the relationship between Nunu and Willump. Early on their bond is established as being near unbreakable as the two of them venture forth, both victims of loss. While Nunu’s search for his mother is ultimately the driving goal, Willump being the last of the Yetis highlights the pair’s loneliness, and helps drive the story forward.

This is also evident in the puzzle-solving and platform elements of the game. Without Willump, Nunu will find it difficult to reach the grandiose heights of ice-covered caverns, while Willump will need Nunu to manipulate platforms and other obstacles using his Svellsongur flute. The two of them work hand-in-hand, much like their gameplay in League of Legends.

Icy reception

Nunu and Willump fend off a wolf in Song of Nunu
Click to enlarge

Where I found Song of Nunu lacking however was in its overall polish and presentation. During my time with the game, I encountered a significant number of bugs and glitches that hindered my progress. This ranged from frequent stuttering and lag to one instance where I had to completely restart relatively early on because the camera had locked and prevented me from progressing, even after trying to reload from the last checkpoint.

Additionally, Song of Nunu’s combat feels as if it has been lifted directly from the League of Legends repertoire which, while fine for a MOBA, doesn’t necessarily translate well to a puzzle platformer and can feel a little unengaging when compared to the detail placed into the environmental puzzles around the world.

League of its own

Braum gives us a sparkling smile in Song of Nunu
Click to enlarge

Despite these setbacks, Song of Nunu does a fantastic job of introducing newer players to the world of League of Legends. The characters that tie into the story from the iconic MOBA translate well in this world, with Braum a herculean hero and Lissandra’s maniacal machinations casting an ominous, frost-bitten presence over the story.

Additionally, for players already familiar with the series, it’s great to see the characters that have become so synonymous with it get their own time to shine away from combat. The stylised graphics are particularly appealing, especially on the Switch OLED. While you’ll be largely contained in cold environs, the sprigs of colour that burst from the snow are emphasised and do wonders for world-building.

The Verdict

Nunu and Willump look out at an assortment of red trees against a snowy backdrop in Song of Nunu
Click to enlarge

As spin-offs go, Song of Nunu does a great job at selling the world around its League of Legends origins. As someone with a somewhat cursory knowledge of the game, it was refreshing to learn about a cast of characters that intrinsically tie into Willump and Nunu’s story, from the mighty Braum to the eerie Lissandra. Additionally, its platforming and puzzle elements are seldom boring, and would particularly appeal to a younger audience.

However, my playtime was often bogged down by a myriad of hiccups and glitches that, at times, made it difficult to traverse the world smoothly. Along with some relatively unintuitive combat, I felt it lacked an overall polish that should have been present and could do with a buff-up.

Nonetheless, Song of Nunu will certainly be a fun and cosy adventure for players looking to get started with League of Legends, veterans of the series excited to see the story expanded, or a younger audience looking to experience a family-friendly platformer.

3/5

Reviewed on Nintendo Switch. Code provided by the publisher.

Jack Roberts
About the author
Jack Roberts
Jack is a Guides Writer at GGRecon. With a BA (Hons) & MA in English and Creative Writing, he was also the Gaming Editor for The Indiependent. When not pondering which game has the best cup of coffee (and drinking far too much of it himself), he can often be found playing Dead by Daylight, Street Fighter or making yet another build in Bloodborne.
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