Ah, Don’t Nod, the developer that we have to thank for the incredible franchise that is Life is Strange. Truthfully, Don’t Nod is one of the most impactful studios when it comes to narrative-driven games. And, as LiS happens to be a personal favorite of mine, I can’t help but stand to attention any time the team is ready to grace us with another title.
Therefore, it comes as little surprise that Harmony: Fall of Reverie is a must-play for me. It’s been on my radar for some time, so finally being able to jump in is nothing short of joy. The fact it reaches my expectations and is everything I want and more is a bonus. For those unfamiliar with the new title, it’s a narrative-driven adventure game in which the future of humanity is in your hands.
The story of Harmony sees you return to the place where the protagonist, Polly, grew up, except one crucial thing is different, her mother, Ursula, is missing. Upon your arrival in Alma, it’s pretty clear that she’s a big deal, certainly more important than you are (evidently, nobody sees fit to tell Polly that being important doesn’t cost much, just your voice). Well, before you know it, you’re in your mother’s room, and this is where you hear someone or something calling to you. Upon further inspection, you find a glowing necklace, one that floats into a bathtub, pulling you into an unfamiliar world.
Soon enough, you meet someone called Bliss, who is more than happy to get you up to speed on what’s going on in this dimension. Yes, the bathtub pulls you through space and time to another dimension, Reverie. Bliss is quick to point out that the people of this realm don’t know Polly as Polly, rather, she’s Harmony to them. Oh, and your casual clothes from your dimension are gone, you now look like an extremely important figure. Like, goddess levels of importance. Perhaps being important really doesn’t cost much, just a magical bath and a necklace.
It turns out both worlds are on the brink of collapse (cue it’s the end of the world as we know it by REM) and Harmony is the key to saving them, though such a responsibility does involve some tough decisions. In Fall of Reverie, our dear protagonist has a gift to see the future courtesy of something known as the augural. These events present themselves as story nodes for you to experience. However, you sometimes come across multiple nodes in the same section, requiring you to choose one and block out the others.
While this may all seem a bit daunting and most certainly overwhelming at first, Don’t Nod does a fantastic job of setting your mind at ease with an expansive tutorial and some less important story nodes to try out so you can grasp a better understanding of how everything works. Plus, the multiple-choice aspect of Harmony: Fall of Reverie adds a replayability factor, and with how gorgeous this game is, you’re bound to want to experience all the branches that the narrative has. I know I do.
Another important thing to note is that Reverie is full of important figures known as Aspirations, one of which happens to be Bliss. Others include Power, Truth, Bond, Glory, and Chaos, and it’s up to you to decide who rules over Reverie, so your choices really do make a difference. You get to know each Aspiration as the story progresses, though their names are likely give away who they are and what their ideals might be.
The game also features fantastic character development, as is customary in a Don’t Nod game – just look at Chloe Price, she has some hella good development throughout Life is Strange and Before the Storm. This is something that’s reminiscent of Harmony, as the titular character grows into her role in saving two worlds, with your decisions shaping how she does it exactly, determining the fates of Polly’s world and Harmony’s.
Polly/Harmony herself is a relatable character. She’s been through some things throughout her life and suddenly finds herself cast as the reluctant hero of the hour. It feels more true to life, so often we see protagonists immediately cement themselves and thrive in their heroism, but Polly/Harmony needs some time to adjust. Her world is falling apart (literally), and she needs to come to terms with that before she can do what she must.
As with most Don’t Nod experiences, you can unravel more about Harmony, the world, and other characters courtesy of the game’s codex. It’s something I appreciate, for while the story unfolds itself in a delicate way that divulges just the right amount of information to keep you in the know of what’s happening, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There’s much to understand, and a codex is a perfect way to let those that love lore get lost in those words of wonder.
Don’t Nod brings the wonderful world, intriguing stories, and enigmatic characters to life through a beautiful soundtrack that perfectly encapsulates what’s at stake in Harmony: Fall of Reverie. When you combine this with stunning artwork, I can’t help but marvel at what Don’t Nod created. Luckily, the game runs smooth as butter on Nintendo Switch, giving me very little to complain about.
All in all, Harmony: Fall of Reverie is a fantastic narrative-driven experience that Don’t Nod fans are sure to enjoy. Featuring enigmatic characters, an impactful story with humanity’s future at stake, and a charming protagonist, Harmony: Fall of Reverie does a lot of things right.
For even more story-driven titles, take a look at our picks for the best games like Life is Strange.
Harmony: Fall of Reverie Switch review
Harmony: Fall of Reverie is yet another fantastic game in Don’t Nod’s library, featuring a great cast of characters, a story deeply impacted by your choices, and a world so ethereal you can’t help but gaze in wonder at its beauty.