LifeisXbox’s Signs of the Sojourner Review | A unique card game like no other which I’ve had the pleasure of playing. Signs of the Sojourner is a narrative and deck building title takes you on an adventure to different destinations as you follow in your deceased mothers’ footsteps to carry on her ventures to assist in keeping the local businesses and your mum’s shop afloat. Along your path, you will encounter various other people but how you play your cards will determine if they become friendly or cold with you. Choose your deck of cards wisely, as these are limited, and swap out cards with new ones along the way dependent on the route you wish to follow. You won’t be able to please everyone but those you do build relations with may be of assistance. Whether it be items for your shop or unlocking possible options to new areas, find the avenue that feels right for you. Developed by Echodog Games and Bromio along with being published by Digerati, Signs of the Sojourner is a unique, relaxing experience where you are your deck and your deck makes or breaks your relationship with others.
VicciVulpix played Signs of the Sojourner for your five hours on Xbox One S. This game is available on Xbox One S/X, and Xbox Series S/X, PlayStation 4/5, Nintendo Switch, Steam, and Mac OS.
What we liked!
- Tranquil feeling | From the second I turned on Signs of the Sojourner, I could already feel the intentional calmness from the background music. Each area you find yourself visiting has different music that continues to follow the same relaxing pattern. As card games go, they can be frustrating in a number of different ways. However, when I found myself on the losing end of the conversations that I couldn’t follow through with, I didn’t find myself feeling negative in any way and I wholeheartedly think that this was because the calming sounds and music working in harmony together no matter what outcome I came to.
- Effective card concept | I’m not typically one to play card games of any kind as I’ve never been interested in them. This was not the case with Signs of the Sojourner. The game utilises a colour/symbol (the colour of the symbol is always the same) system in which you must try to match your cards to the other characters’ cards. Throughout, you will also have opportunities to obtain new cards and discard ones you no longer have use for. Some have an additional perk attached to them which can help out sometimes if you find yourself stuck such as refreshing your hand or being able to play multiple cards to name a couple. One feature that really caught my attention is each colour/symbol has an emotion attached to it to further enhance any narrative you engage in to make for a more personalised playthrough.
- Diverse characters and conversations | In everyday life, everyone is unique in their own way and Signs of the Sojourner certainly explored a mixture of personalities. It’s always a nice feeling when you find yourself smiling all the way through an entire game. Admittedly, some characters were more pessimistic than others for example but I’m glad they included this type of diversity as in my case, it played on my emotions and got me to feel more invested in characters allowing me to not only make my choices based on gameplay mechanics but also on how I related to each character I stumbled across.
- Multiple outcomes means replayability | I absolutely adored the fact that there are multiple ways the game can take you. You can play the game in so many ways that you’ll always be wondering if you’ve explored every possible direction the game has. As you can’t take the perfect route every time, I believe you have to build yourself a deck differently each time you start a fresh playthrough that is dependent on who you wish to make friends with and who you want to avoid as some colours are more prominent in each town you visit making it easier to know where you’ll be the most successful in your conversations.
- Bold Imagery | For me, Signs of the Sojourner has a range of bold and bright colours that suit the game very well. Scenes feel alive and give off a sense of energy everywhere you visit. Sometimes I found they can also provide a feeling for how the people in the area may come across to you – whether they will be happy or sad but not in every scenario. I can’t say I was a huge fan of the art style for this game and that was mainly down to how the characters looked. I would have been nice for the characters to have some more detail and work put into them to make them stand out from the background scenes. Purely a personal opinion on how I feel things could have been made to emphasise other features.
What we disliked
- Fatigue cards | Something which took away from my soothing experience was the addition of fatigue cards which I don’t think were at all necessary. The further you journey away from home, the more cards become fatigued meaning they have no use, only to cause problems. With Signs of the Sojourner already implementing a limit on how far you can travel on each trip by days used (you have fifty on each trip), to have something else pushing you to return home as conversations ultimately become negative seemed a pointless element to me. They just became a hindrance if anything.
- Sudden transition between areas | Colour/symbols are what Signs of the Sojourner revolve around to allow players to progress through various areas on their travels. The problem I found was you start with green triangles and orange circles in your deck. Great for the beginning section but one area I visited fairly early on had blue diamonds and purple squares of which I had none so the conversations were always going to finish as a mismatch against me. The transition could have been more gradual along the way to appear friendlier and more enticing to players.
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Hello, I’m Victoria. I’m from the UK and have been playing video games for as long as I can remember; back on DreamCast. I’ve pretty much fallen for Xbox since I was around eight years old and remember BioShock being my first game on the Xbox360. Although I find it thoroughly enjoyable to not only experience gameplay, I also find comfort in getting lost and engrossed in the online worlds that sometimes differ greatly from what we know. Another side of my Xbox passion would be achievement hunting and gamerscore. I thrive when I hear the little sound of one popping up on the screen and I’m always finding ways to work on my backlog when possible. Horror is my favourite genre so if you have any recommendations, don’t be afraid to send them my way!