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

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 has been saved, but Splash Damage's party shooter Outcasters will die with the platform. Stadia itself will close down in January, and Google will refund all hardware and software purchases. That came as a shock to developers at the time, who had no idea Google was killing the program many were actively developing for. 

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

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

You can find Wavetale on Steam.

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.