Thunderful Games announced the First-on-Stadia arrival of its new game Wavetale at it's Thunderful World digital event on Wednesday. Actually, Thunderful brought in the big guns and had Mark Hamill announce the game, resulting in a rather resonant squeal of delight from Stadia fans on social media. Sweetening the pot was the fact that Wavetale is part of the "Free with Pro" program, allowing anyone with a Stadia Pro membership to jump directly into the game the moment the name was out of Hamill's mouth. Stadia has had some ups and downs this year to be sure, but this was one of the better moments.
I hopped into Wavetale that evening, and quickly found myself surrounded by my kids, who immediately started crawling all over me, stealing my blanket, and making demands. "Climb the Ferris Wheel! You left that lady down below! Go free her!". Wavetale isn't a kid's game, but if my kids are any indication, it is remarkably suited to be enjoyed with children.
Players take on the role of a young woman living in a flooded post-apocalyptic world with her cranky grandmother. The two women maintain a lighthouse, which is used to push back an encroaching fog, protecting the surrounding islands from whatever dire things lurk in the murk. At the beginning of the game, some stuff goes wrong, and the duo are sent on an adventure to figure out what's going on and set things straight.
The player character quickly learns that she has some pretty cool skills that allow her to skim across the water. I won't blow the moment that this happens (it is not in my gameplay video), but it is pretty great.
I fired up Wavetale for a second session (without my kids this time), and recorded it for posterity. In the video, I demonstrate Wavetale's mechanics and play through a few of the game's simple but satisfying platform/puzzle areas. The entire thing wraps up with the game's first boss battle, which - like the rest of Wavetale - is fun and approachable.
Overall, Wavetale is a breath of fresh air - a fun, relaxing little game that is beautiful, approachable, and fun for adults, but not overly challenging for kids. Stadia might be slowing down on it's exclusive title releases, but Wavetale shows that the team at Google's streaming platform still knows how to pick 'em.