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Sigi: A Fart for Melusina (Switch) artwork

Sigi: A Fart for Melusina (Switch) review

"If Sigi were a whoopee cushion, it would have a hole in it. Not a huge one, just a disappointing one."

A few weeks ago, I bought Sigi: A Fart for Melusina ahead of its release on the Nintendo eShop. I bought it for three equally good reasons: it was cheap, it had "fart" in the title, and I liked the retro-styled artwork I saw in the screenshots. I figured the game would offer a reasonably great time when it came out a few days later, but then I forgot about it until today.

This afternoon, I saw someone mention the title on Twitter, and a bell went off in my head. "I have that game!" said the bell, which was surprisingly loquacious for a bell. "I should play it, and beat it, and review it." So I did the first two things and now you're reading my attempt at the third.

Sigi: A Fart for Melusina (Switch) image

Fart, as I shall call it for short, even though "Sigi" sitting right there as a more mature option, is a game about a flatulent knight who is in love with a mermaid's singing. But she is kidnapped by an evil guy who looks a lot like a pro wrestler, and that leaves Sigi, the eponymous hero, to run and jump through 20 levels in a bid to save her.

There's not a lot to the game. You shouldn't have much trouble clearing it in 40 minutes or less, provided your platforming skills are sufficient. And really, they should be if you've been playing games for even a few short years. Fart feels a lot like Adventure Island, only without the timer that slowly ticks down as you race through a stage. It also feels the tiniest bit like Ghouls 'n Ghosts, but not for difficulty-related reasons. It just has that look about it, thanks to the ghosts and zombies and such.

Sigi: A Fart for Melusina (Switch) image

Stages are reasonably short, consisting typically of a few grassy ledges with mild resistance placed randomly along them. Checkpoints are numerous, and you have three hearts and an ample supply of replenishing food (such as chicken legs, a staple of heroes) to get you through the worst the forces of evil might throw your way. Every 100 coins you collect--and coins are also numerous--will net you an extra life. Collecting the letters to spell out "Sigi" will also grant you an extra life. The standard platforming stages are fairly simple, so what you're really supposed to do is stockpile enough lives so you can survive the more challenging, less polished boss battles.

There are four bosses in the game, and the first one of the lot is the one that gave me the most trouble. He runs back and forth along the bottom of a screen and hugs a wall when he reaches either far side of the arena. You're supposed to pelt him with shots while his bum is turned your way, then use the available tire to spring over his head when he charges you. This task would be easy completed time after time, except smaller enemies appear periodically to harass you. So I went through a number of lives defeating the boss. The good news is that players don't have to start over if they die; any damage they have inflicted remains inflicted, and so they can force their way to victory if they have sufficient lives available.

Sigi: A Fart for Melusina (Switch) image

The stages don't offer a lot of variety between bosses, unfortunately. You'll sometimes run into a new type of enemy, trap, or environmental hazard. For example, log-shaped platforms fall away if you stand on them too long, as do clouds. Saw blades grind along walls, spikes protrude from the soil, and swinging blades dangle at the end of pendulums. But all of this quickly grows tiresome, because there's not a lot of scenic variety. You're just running through a redundant forest all day and into the night and, while it looks pretty good, that doesn't quite feel sufficient.

The main attempt at variety is the occasional bonus stage. You can chop away at some walls to reveal caves, which you can enter to find treasure troves. Usually there are a lot of coins available, with minimal risk involved in snagging them. Often there are power-ups, such as armor that allows you to withstand a bit of damage. And sometimes you'll find one of the letters necessary to spell "Sigi." So you should always be tossing your weapons about, even if no enemies are in the immediate vicinity.

Sigi: A Fart for Melusina (Switch) image

Speaking of weapons, you can upgrade your default blade--which sails over the head of any scuttling enemies, such as the first ones you find in your adventure--by breaking open treasure chests and grabbing them. My favorite upgrade is a three-way shot that tends to cut a wide swath through any resistance. Axes arc gently, which is sometimes useful, and there are other options. But mostly, the differences are slight because your winning strategy is to keep moving forward and chucking whatever weapon you have at anything that crosses your path.

As Fart's title suggests, the developers had a bit of a sense of humor. That sense of humor is reflected occasionally throughout the campaign, but not nearly often enough to keep things interesting. You fart when you reach the mobile hot dog stand at the end of each stage, and there are a few quips made on your adventure (mostly during boss battles, which always feel a bit random). But otherwise, there's not nearly the personality you might hope to find.

Sigi: A Fart for Melusina is available on various platforms, with a tempting low MSRP and a title that promises a gassy good time. What the game delivers instead is a generally underwhelming adventure that doesn't offer enough variety to remain interesting for even a half-hour or so, let alone multiple journeys to find Melusina. Fart is not a terrible experience overall, but neither does it do enough things right that you're likely to feel pleased with yourself for giving it a chance. My advice is to either get it on sale or give it a pass.


honestgamer's avatar
Staff review by Jason Venter (October 08, 2018)

Jason Venter has been playing games for 30 years, since discovering the Apple IIe version of Mario Bros. in his elementary school days. Now he writes about them, here at HonestGamers and also at other sites that agree to pay him for his words.

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