Selma and the Wisp

Review Selma and the Wisp (Switch)

Game: Selma and the Wisp
Genre: Platformer, Puzzle
System: Nintendo Switch (also on Steam, PC, Android, IOS)
Developer/ Publisher: Toucan Studio| Ultimate Games S.A.
Age Rating: EU: 12+| USA: Teen
: €9,99| $9.99| £8.99
Release Date: 31st May 2019

Released on Steam and Mobile in 2016 it’s now the turn of the Nintendo Switch to host Selma and the Wisp. Let’s take a look at this dark platform game developed by Toucan Studios.

Nightmares in a wardrobe

Selma a young girl is awoken from her nights’ slumber by a monster under her bed. Her little nightlight releases a wisp which disappears into the wardrobe.  Selma follows the wisp into her wardrobe and so begins a journey through Selma’s nightmares.

As the player you take control of the wisp in this side scrolling adventure of 10 nightmarish chapters. The wisp is Selma’s only source of light as they make their way through puzzles, traps and over obstacles as you guide Selma to safety.

Selma can’t be separated from the wisp for too long otherwise she will have a heart attack and die. This is illustrated by the beating heart shown on the screen. It’s not all plain sailing for the wisp either as it looses energy as it floats along and it needs to collect energy orbs to replenish its health bar. 

A good partnership

Wisp not only provides a guiding light for Selma. It also helps with puzzle solving by being able to provide an explosion when needed. This however will use up extra energy from the wisps’ health bar. 

These explosions are integral in Selma and the Wisp to solving quite a few of the puzzles as they help to move objects, activate switches, scare off enemies, and otherwise interact with objects throughout the game.

As most of the puzzles in the game can be solved by exploding wisp at some time or other you will constantly be on the look out for orbs to keep wisps health bar filled. After all, an empty health bar results in death for the wisp and Selma and you are taken back to last save check point. 

Selma blindly follows the Wisp

Where the wisp goes Selma blindly follows along, if the wisp goes to the top of a ladder Selma will climb the ladder, when wisp floats over a gap Selma will jump said gap. Selma can run, jump and climb.  Selma doesn’t always make the jump over the gaps, sometimes when she preforms jumps she cuts it to short and falls to her death. A bit annoying, as you can’t really influence it. Expect to see the game over screen a lot because of this.

The wisp can also stop Selma and make her wait at certain parts of the game, this does come in handy. Don’t forget the wisp can’t travel far without Selma so it does have its limits.

Puzzles mostly consist of the wisp exploding at various points to make a plank fall down in the right place or to remove crows that are flying in the way of Selma progress. There is nothing too hard in the way of puzzles as you progress though Selma’s nightmares. In fact, they can be repetitive more than giving the player a challenge.

A bit overboard with the dark atmosphere

The music is atmospheric and adds to the dark nightmare feel of the game. The dark atmosphere is well executed but the blackness in the levels caused a problem for myself. Sometimes I couldn’t see what was ahead in the level even with the light from the wisp. I even turned up the brightness on the screen off my Switch to see if it would help me see more clearly.

It helped slightly. I understand that the theme of the game is nightmares and dark places but surely does it have to be just so dark/black in some places that the player can’t see what is happening? One hit from any enemy or an obstacle will kill Selma instantly. Keeping a close eye on her surroundings is essential for her survival. The game being so dark/black in places that I couldn’t see what was up ahead proved to be frustrating more than anything else.

Not always following instructions

Selma herself does do a few things that she really shouldn’t. For instance, during my play through the wisp came upon a ladder and a platform on top of it. Of course I moved the wisp to the top of the ladder and Selma began to climb it. She got to the top, stepped on the platform and fell backwards of the platform back down the ladder to where she had originally started. This happened repeatedly until finally Selma decided to stay on the platform on top of the ladder.

The controlling of Selma has a few niggles that need ironed out to give the player a more enjoyable experience while playing Selma and the wisp. 


All in all I like the “idea” behind Selma and the Wisp and its nightmare story. It took just over 2 hours to complete all of the chapters. I can’t say I liked the controlling of Selma  as this could be more than frustrating at times. For instance, when she did unexpected things and caused instant death and the game over screen.

Puzzles are rather run of the mill and nothing new to give the player a challenge…..helps if you can see what your doing too. 

So all that leaves me to say is that Selma and the Wisp gets an I’m Not Sure score. 

I’m not sure

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