Song of Nunu: A League of Legends Story – Review
Follow Genre: 3D platformer, puzzle game
Developer: Tequila Works
Publisher: Riot Forge
Platform: PC, Switch
Tested on: PC

Song of Nunu: A League of Legends Story – Review

Site Score
Good: A truly heartwarming story
Bad: Mediocre combat mechanics
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Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Full disclosure: our review of Song of Nunu: A League of Legends Story is written from the perspective of someone that is unfamiliar with the League of Legends universe as a whole. While this does mean that there may be some inaccuracies when it comes to the League of Legends lore as a whole, it comes with the added benefit that we’re looking at the game as if it were a standalone title. As such, if you aren’t familiar with League of Legends either, we may be able to shed some light on whether or not Song of Nunu is worth picking up regardless. With that out of the way, let’s take a look at developer Tequila Works’ spinoff of Riot Games’ immensely popular MOBA.


Although Song of Nunu’s title only mentions Nunu, the story is actually not just about the titular young boy, but also about his best friend, the yeti Willump. This pair of unlikely friends serves up a surprisingly touching and heartwarming story that can definitely stand on its own. We’re not sure how everything ties into the greater League of Legends and what role the supporting cast plays in the mainline games, but the overarching story involves the villainous ice witch Lissandra, as well as sympathetic hero Braum, who occasionally accompanies our duo. Song of Nunu is a narrative experience first and foremost, intent on fleshing out the backstory and personalities of these characters. While we won’t spoil too much, rest assured that over the course of the journey, we grew fond of all of them, even Lissandra.

But before we get ahead of ourselves, we should probably tell you a little more about what the story itself is about. Set in the frozen land of Freljord, Song of Nunu tells the tale of Nunu and Willump’s search for Nunu’s lost mother. Nunu has visions of her, and she tells him to find the so-called Heart of the Blue at the Winged Mountain. Convinced that this artifact holds answers to the whereabouts of his mother, Nunu and Willump set out on a dangerous quest. Unbeknownst to them, their efforts are watched by Lissandra, who has her own agenda: she wants to use Willump’s power to stop a dark force that threatens Freljord as a whole. Over the course of seven hours, a bittersweet story about the power of friendship unfolds, that is guaranteed to touch your heartstrings.


It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Song of Nunu is a visual treat, but what we didn’t expect was how successful the game was going to be in conveying emotions through its visuals. Nunu and Willump are tremendously endearing characters, and their facial expressions and body language play a huge part in this. It’s not just the character animations that impress either. Freljord comprises a wide variety of environments, from the expected fields of endless snow to a fleet of old pirate ships and rocky caves lit by beams of light bursting through cracks. If there is one issue we had with Song of Nunu’s visuals, it’s that the in-game camera doesn’t always provide the best possible angles. It’s a very minor niggle in the grand scheme of things, but it’s still prominent enough that it warrants a mention.


Nunu’s appeal is strengthened by a fantastic voice acting performance, courtesy of Adrian Raio, who takes over from Cristina Millizia. Raio delivers his lines with gusto, and given how Willump only communicates using grumps and growls, it was important that Nunu’s voice was done right. This is certainly the case, although the supporting cast does an admirable job as well. Adding to this is a fantastic soundtrack. While we’re not sure whether Song of Nunu reuses tunes from previous games or if the game uses original music, what’s present here lends an air of cinematic credence to the cutscenes, from the intimate tunes played by Nunu on his flute to the dramatic combat music.


Instead of the MOBA gameplay that League of Legends is best known for, Song of Nunu presents players with a 3D puzzle platformer. Players take control of our two protagonists, either by themselves or as a pair. They each bring their own abilities to the table: Nunu is small and thus able to crawl into small spaces as well as toss snowballs, while Willump can freeze rivers so that they can be crossed and fight off any threats that our duo faces. Not that Song of Nunu is a game that puts a lot of focus on fighting, mind you. Most of your time, you’ll be platforming as well as dealing with environmental puzzles, allowing you to progress through the frozen tundras of Freljord. The game’s pacing is way more relaxed than what we initially expected, with the opening half hour acting as a tutorial, after which you’re left to your own devices to figure out how to find the Heart of the Blue.

The main key to solving puzzles is Nunu’s magical flute. You’ll spot runes in the environment, and playing the notes that correspond with these can trigger hidden switches, open ancient stone doors or raise platforms, opening up new paths in the process. New songs are gradually introduced throughout the game, and you’ll need to practice these around the campfire through an endearing minigame, where the aim is to make Willump dance. A secondary puzzle-solving mechanic involves objects that appear in red and green varieties, and that you can interact with in different ways. Red vines, for example, are explosive, whereas green vines disappear temporarily when you touch them. Figuring out the properties of these objects and utilizing them to your advantage plays a huge part in being able to progress through what Song of Nunu throws at you. Finding the solution to a puzzle might not always be straightforward, but fortunately, Song of Nunu is concise in how puzzle solving is executed. This means that no matter how complicated a puzzle is, you have all the necessary tools at your disposal and there aren’t any confusing or frustrating moments where the game suddenly deviates from its internal logic.

Although Song of Nunu is a fairly linear affair, there is room for some light exploration here and there, rewarding players with more pieces of lore. Song of Nunu isn’t a very long game, even if you explore every nook and cranny of Freljord, so we welcome any and all additional content. There is quite a bit of variety here, though. During your adventure, you’ll be engaging in snowball fights between Nunu and Willump, use the yeti as a bob-sled, and even engage in stealth gameplay. It’s impressive to see just how many ideas were successfully implemented in such a short runtime, but it also highlights how mediocre combat is as a result. Not even the boss battles can really lift up the overall feeling that the combat system was implemented as a mandatory afterthought rather than an engaging gameplay element.

Combat is simple in terms of core mechanics, but it falls flat in terms of execution. Willump has a light and a strong attack, and is able to dodge. Finishing an enemy allows the yeti to regain HP. Compared to how well-designed the puzzles are, the combat mechanics feel too basic, and we would have preferred a bit more variety in this regard. That said, it does what it needs to do. If there’s one thing we can truly fault Song of Nunu’s gameplay for, it’s that it’s so woefully short. We mean that in the best way possible, because the game left us wanting more when the credits rolled roughly seven hours after we set out on our journey. Song of Nunu didn’t convince us to start playing League of Legends, simply because MOBA games aren’t necessarily our cup of tea, but it did get us interested in the universe as a whole, and we’re eager to dive into similar spinoffs that flesh out the world and its characters.


Whether you’re a League of Legends veteran or a newcomer to the franchise, you’ll find something to like in Song of Nunu. The story is well-written, the characters are incredibly likable, and to top it all off, the puzzle platforming gameplay provides just the right amount of challenge. The game does suffer from having underwhelming combat mechanics, but overall it left us wanting more. If you venture out on your own quest to the Winged Mountain, you won’t be disappointed.

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Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)
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Song of Nunu: A League of Legends Story - Review, 10.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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