Upon equipping myself with a powerful laptop for a spot of PC gaming, I was told that Steam has plenty on offer and plenty worth checking out for a reasonable price. I was also warned there was a huge amount of absolute guff that should never be played. It didn’t take very long to find one of these. Wanderjah is its name and it’s billed as a JRPG, which suggests that it’s perhaps a grand, vast and addictive game, however this couldn’t be any further from the truth, mainly because … well you don’t actually do anything.
Wanderjah is an apparent JRPG from the Thai team of Workyrie and is available for download on Steam. The premise is simple, in a time the world was seemingly perfect, everyone was happy and in love, until monsters and evil magic invaded the land and sent all in disarray, or at least this is what I think is happening, why with all the grammatical errors and poor translation it’s a little difficult to piece together. The gameplay too is simple. Each of your characters have a unique ability or attribute that will bolster the strength of your team, whether that be with brute strength, healing or decreasing enemy defence. Your task is to form the most effective team and swap them out when you’re in danger, replacing a warrior you have no need for currently for one that could work to your advantage. It may sound in depth but it couldn’t be any further from the truth, as you don’t actually control your team, merely just watch how it plays out and slide someone new in when the going gets tough, kind of like a more boring, Japanese Football Manager. As you don’t control your combatants, you can’t avoid attacks or fight even remotely strategically, meaning your team get killed relatively easily and those you want at the back (ie healers) will shuffle to the front and stand idly whilst getting an axe to the face. Once your team mates are killed you can’t swap them out with someone else, which turns a horrifically boring game into a horrifically boring and difficult game. As with your typical RPG, Wanderjah too features levelling up and customisation, but following suit from the gameplay, this too is very basic, uninteresting and almost needless. At the end of each ‘battle’ you can level up your squad and upgrade their abilities, but once again this is very stripped back, lacking and your characters simply don’t develop to an acceptable degree. Every now and then you’ll encounter a boss battle, a large, vibrant and challenging enemy right off the bat of a number of enemy waves, meaning if you’ve had an awful time defeating the previous enemies you’re destined to fail going up against this one. It’s almost like Wanderjah is taking the mick, mocking you as a player with your inability to do anything. You can’t control your characters, you can’t stop them from getting killed, you can’t make them avoid attacks and on top of that you’ll struggle to defeat the level’s boss because you’re already at a complete disadvantage.
Speaking of what’s acceptable, why a game that has apparently been developed for a number of years is only accessible at a poor resolution and not in full screen is just not on and downright bizarre. I can give them the benefit of the doubt to some degree as Workyrie do acknowledge that it’s a problem and that they would have had to start the game from scratch to get it to work in 16:9, but in this day and age it should be the norm. Visually the game is bright and has lots of colour, and that’s about as far as compliments go with this title as this just looks, sounds and plays like a terrible pc port of a mobile game. With a low resolution and the inability to play the game in full screen, Wanderjah just looks and sounds like a game that should just not be available for purchase, not because it seems unfinished but quite the opposite, it’s a game that clearly is finished and is just plain terrible.
Wanderjah, in every aspect, is just awful. The poor quality of its visuals and sound is unacceptable for something you’d pay for and ultimately as a player there is barely anything to do. The computer makes almost every decision for you and swapping out characters whenever is most convenient to you is the only action you’ll get to do. It’s awkward grammatical mistakes and translation errors wouldn’t be so much of a problem if the game was at least enjoyable, but frankly it just acts as the final nail in the coffin. It has the look and feel of a crappy mobile game from 5 years ago, so do yourself a favour, avoid this game and download a free alternative from the app store that will no doubt trump this title in every single way.