Songs Of Travel Review – Five Stories To Take On Your Own Adventures

A pocket visual novel for your mobile, with five accounts of migration, identity, and the meaning of home: Songs of Travel on Android.

Phew—Songs of Travel gave me (and only me—I am central to the universe) some breathing space for writing the review. The release date was postponed due to the iOS version being delayed by the chumps in Cupertino—this write-up is the Android version. Though ready last week, I’ve come back to edit this opening paragraph, aided by some whisky. Thank goodness for the sobriety plugin I installed earlier.

It would be wrong to inject humour into such a serious subject as migration, but guess what? All of the people interviewed and portrayed in this interactive narrative are real, like you and I (well, maybe not you so much), and as a bona fide human, you’re entitled to a bit of relief after experiencing some of the stories shared here.

There are five main arcs here, with themes not solely limited to migration but the bigger picture—gender, identity, representation and its subsidiaries of home, status, beliefs… the list is endless, yet it is approached in a respectful and realistic manner. It’s neither overly ambitious nor dismissive.

Songs of Travel Review - Stories
Stories. Source: Screen capture

Some of the tales in Songs of Travel will be more relatable if you or someone you know has experienced something similar. Or maybe you have a great deal of empathy—we need more of you. Perspectives on racism, religion, and class come into effect, and each one will draw you in based on your investment in the subject. Songs of Travel isn’t overpowering and waving its finger at you but amplifying voices that may otherwise be unheard.

In my opinion, the stories do lose momentum, and you’re getting it as you’re here for that perspective. If it weren’t for the illustrations and the meaning behind Songs of Travel, it would have been a little less appealing once I heard the journey of a Ukrainian. Saving the best until last is the wrong phrase, but their story was moving and pulled it back. All the stories here are emotionally engaging, some outweighing the others based on how you perceive their plight.

Without a doubt, the Songs of Travel artwork is the cherry on top. Each person has a dedicated clip at the beginning and end of a chapter where they are retelling their story, and in between is an illustrated, scrolling sequence with their account brought to life. These illustrations are colourful, have a beautiful, warm colour palette, and are often animated for dramatic effect and with purpose. In addition, each chapter has an accompanying score that flutters on the heartstrings.

Have Causa Creations given me a renewed interest in migration, provided a better understanding of other cultures and provoked me to ‘do something about it’, whatever ‘it’ is? No. But that’s no reflection on Songs of Travel, as its message resonates with my own beliefs of treating others with respect, compassion and understanding. I did enjoy it, though.

We need more titles like this to bring awareness to topics we may be ignorant of and to understand one another better. I’m not usually interested in mobile games and apps and like to save that for the bedroom – sorry, PC and consoles, but I wouldn’t hesitate to indulge in Songs of Travel once more for additional chapters, or should Causa Creations venture into other themes using a similar approach, to snap those up, too. I encourage you to check this out on iOS or Android should you have the opportunity to do so. It may change someone else’s life…?

The verdict?