SELMA AND THE WISP
By Dyllis "Mimi Mochi" Harmans on June 7, 2019
Selma and the Wisp is a logic puzzle game with a pretty creepy vibe, originally released on August 4, 2016 for Steam by indie developer Toucan Studio. As from May 31 of this year, gamers will also be able to enjoy this puzzle platform game on their Nintendo Switch, giving this game a portable experience. Although the game has already been out there for a few years, I haven't had the chance to play it yet. I love horror and puzzle games and thought this game had a vibe similar to Limbo (Which I loved playing). So naturally, I am very excited to finally play this title!
You play as a wisp, leading the girl Selma safely through the maze. Selma follows the light of the wisp everywhere it goes, and occasionally gets told by it when she needs to stay put. The controls are very straightforward, when you lead the wisp to the top of a ladder Selma will automatically follow and climb to the top. This also works when making Selma jump over small gaps. You will have to keep an eye on Selma though, or she might just die. When she does, you will have to replay the current level from your last checkpoint.
Whenever the wisp goes too far and its light can't reach Selma anymore, Selma will stop moving, get scared which will cause her heart to drain of life force and eventually die. Quickly getting back to her will replenish the life force inside her heart. The wisp can also move or break things that are in its way, by exploding. Exploding will cause your energy to drain quickly, so making sure you collect enough tiny energy orbs is crucial. Sometimes you will also find along the way are items that are necessary for you to progress the story. These items are usually located pretty obviously and float around in some kind of bubble. The wisp can pick up these items and use them in the right spots.
The entire game feels really eerie and creepy. The art and somewhat weird artistic-like environment really help to enhance this feeling even further. It really feels like you are walking through one big nightmare, with guillotines trying to chop off Selma's head, or big bugs that want to eat you alive! The mysterious music also really helps with creating the horror vibe. Since there is no conversation during the game itself, everything that needs to be expressed comes from the music and art style of the game.
All in all, this game is a nice change of pace from regular horror or platform games. Not having to think too hard and just floating through the artsy horror world with Selma has a kind of strangely relaxing effect. The game's story consists of a total of 10 chapters and is amounts to a few hours of gameplay. I especially like playing this game on a handheld console, since it is a game you just want to pick up and play for a while when you have some time on your hands. When I started playing this game, the eerie vibes and the no talking really reminded me of the game Limbo. Of course, this game has its own original touch, but the 2D horror side scroller genre along with timing and puzzles to crack sometimes has kind of the same feel to it. This is why I would recommend this game if you liked games like Limbo or Inside. I really loved playing Selma and the Wisp and hope to see many others also enjoying this cool horror adventure game!
SELMA AND THE WISP
August 4, 2016 (PC)
May 31, 2019 (Switch)