Sayonara Wild Hearts looked like a good fit for me as it combines a unique eye-catching neon art style, J-pop style music, and some rhythm game mechanics (although it turns out this isn't actually a rhythm game). I'm happy to report that it deserves much of the praise it's received. The art looks even better in motion, and although the actual gameplay resembles a fixed-track on-rails shooter, the camera angles are so dynamic and constantly changing that there's never any danger of getting bored. If anything, I agree with NintendoLife's review that stages feel a little on the short side.

The game itself is also very compact and there are only 23 stages, but that's not a big issue as it's an indie title and there's a good amount of variety in the stages. Aside from some quick-time events, mostly during boss fights, a lot of the gameplay just consists of steering the character to collect hearts, which is fun and rather reminded me of the bonus stages in some old Sonic games; the game also incorporates a similar sense of breakneck speed as the Sonic games. It's not too difficult to get through each stage, as the game is extremely generous with checkpoints. Retries are fluid and take you back a minute or so at most, and you're given an infinite number of attempts. There's plenty of replayability in chasing after higher scores and medals for each stage, although these require you to not mess up at all or miss any collectables (which would break your multiplier), and so end up requiring more rote memorization than I'm interested in. There are also some obscure achievements where you're given cryptic clues about how to unlock them, but they were so impenetrable taht I couldn't be bothered with them.

Overall Sayonara Wild Hearts was a super stylish and fun indie title by Simogo, a Swedish developer, and I've definitely enjoying listening to the soundtrack outside of the game as well. A lot of Simogo's previous titles are on iOS, but I'm intrigued about checking out their game Year Walk which was released on Steam and Wii U, which I remember hearing about back when it first came out.

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