Wandersong's Scene Select Can Get You 1000Gs in an Hour – But Please Don't Do It

Sam Quirke - December 12th 2019

Normally I'm among the first to celebrate when some unheard-of little game turns up and has an exploit to easy achievements – especially if that game has clearly been designed to appeal to achievement hunters looking to score. We feel it's prudent to report that Greg Lobanov's Wandersong, a recent addition to the Xbox Game Pass games roster, falls into the small subset of modern games that can be completed in an hour or less thanks to a hidden cheat code. However, as one of my favourite video game stories of the year, I personally wish you wouldn't use it.

As initially reported in the TA forums by GrislyDin and later beefed up into a more detailed walkthrough by onsamyj, Wandersong's Scene Select feature – normally only accessible after completing the game – can also be accessed via a cheat code. Specifically this one:

Left, Right, Left Bumper, Right Bumper, Up, Up, Down, Left, Right Bumper, A
The nice thing about Wandersong's Scene Select is that it's so granular; rather than just jump you to the start of each level, you can skip straight to specific scenes – bypassing longer moments of travel between places or some of the more ambiguous puzzles. It's a great way to see various parts of the game again after you've finished, and in fairness to the guide writers, there are some missable achievements that make the Scene Select more valuable. However it's safe to say that the most efficient route put out by onsamyj will completely ruin the narrative for a first-time player – and that would be a shame, because it's one of my favourite game stories of the year.

I played Wandersong on PS4 – it released earlier this year over there – and while the game starts slow, it goes to some really interesting places narratively. I was strongly reminded of Celeste – one of my all time favourites, that I've written plenty about. Wandersong doesn't have the tight rewarding gameplay of Celeste, but it does have a lot of heart, just like that plucky mountain-climber. It's not a story I'm eager to spoil, but it twists a lot of traditional narrative expectations around and pokes at them – the fragile and selfish undercurrent in your average hero type, the struggle to move on when your expectations are dashed, and how difficult and important it is to make good friends. It's all wrapped up in a beautifully scored, pleasantly coloured adventure with some very light puzzling and platforming. The unique selling point is the hero's method of solving problems – singing specific combinations of notes to change the world and the people within it.

Wandersong is far from perfect – it's one of my favourites of the year, but Celeste still eclipses it in style and execution. There are pacing problems, especially in the middle where the experience feels a little padded. If you are the type of person who gets bored by the likes of OXENFREE, Night in the Woods or classic point-and-click adventures, Wandersong isn't going to win you over and you probably should make the most of this exploit. But if you've never heard of Wandersong before and like an interesting story with well-written characters, I strongly recommend you give the game a regular shot before you lean on that Scene Select.

Though I've played the game before, I'm still torn about using the Scene Select – despite how neatly it will solve my 12 Days of Christmas Challenge – Day 6 problem. I think I'd prefer to take another round with The Bard and his curious musical mission to save the world, and see if I can spot some more hidden details and foreshadowing for the game's twists and turns.

Wandersong is available now in Xbox Game Pass for console. If you do end up enjoying the game, you might want to hop on to the Steam demo for Greg Lobanov's next project Chicory – available for a very limited time thanks to Geoff Keighley's new Game Festival project.

Wandersong

A musical adventure where you use singing to save the world! Play as a silly bard who embarks on a globe-trotting journey to learn about the mysterious Earthsong, said to prevent the universe’s imminent end. It's up to you to sing your songs, unlock the world's secrets and make new friends!

Track My Progress in Wandersong