Surf a magical archipelago in Wavetale, a former Stadia exclusive coming to Steam

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Thunderful Development's former Stadia exclusive Wavetale hits Steam this week, bringing its island-hopping story to the broader world just before Stadia's demise. Wavetale tells the story of Sigrid, aided by her wave-surfing shadow, on a quest to save a magical and ruined archipelago from its own past.

It's definitely an example of the genre of open-world exploratory platformers and action games that have proliferated in the wake of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, but its stylish world and creatures do have a charm distinct from those games that are blatant copies of previous concepts. It's especially notable that it has two main ways of getting around: Speeding across the waves for one, and swinging with your net for another.

Wavetale also focuses on its cast of weird island-dwellers, like fashion desinger fishermen, cheeky surfers, and grumpy grandmas. There are obviously pirates, too. It'll release on Steam on December 12, 2022. It has full controller support and is currently listed as Playable on a Steam Deck.

It's nice to see another Stadia exclusive that's not going down with Google's ill-fated game streaming ship. Horror game Gylt (opens in new tab) has been saved, but Splash Damage's party shooter Outcasters (opens in new tab) will die with the platform. Stadia itself will close down in January, and Google will refund (opens in new tab) all hardware and software purchases. That came as a shock to developers at the time (opens in new tab), who had no idea Google was killing the program many were actively developing for. 

Thunderful (opens in new tab) is also the publisher of games like Planet of Lana (opens in new tab), LEGO Bricktales (opens in new tab), and Cursed to Golf, that one game about golfing through purgatory (opens in new tab) everybody seemed to like so much. 

Thunderful has produced a series of shorts about Wavetale: One highlighting the narrative creation (opens in new tab), another for the music composition (opens in new tab), and a third for the artistic concepts (opens in new tab).

You can find Wavetale on Steam. (opens in new tab)

Jon Bolding is a games writer and critic with an extensive background in strategy games. When he's not on his PC, he can be found playing every tabletop game under the sun.