The news was announced in March. The next game in the Legend of Zelda franchise, the as yet unnamed Breath of the Wild sequel, was being pushed back until 2023 after originally being slated to release this year. As the official statement spread, a wave of disappointment ran through fans who had been eagerly awaiting an update. However, with it also came a sense of excitement and anticipation, as hopes grew for an even better and more polished official release with the extra development time. Whether you’re a fan of the original Breath of the Wild, like myself, or puzzle-adventure games in general, the delay does leave quite a long period to wait, which also means an opportunity to try some new things in the meantime!
What is Breath of the Wild?
For those who are unaware or might just need a refresher, Breath of the Wild is the most recent installment in the Legend of Zelda franchise. It was released in 2017 to critical acclaim, updating the typical Zelda formula to something truly open world with places to explore and secrets to find around every corner. In keeping with that theme, the game is also mostly non-linear, allowing you to complete quests in any order, even to the extent where you can challenge the final boss holding only a stick as a weapon.
Zelda games have always been full of puzzles and adventure, and Breath of the Wild is no exception. With 120 shrines each involving their own challenge or mini-dungeon, four full dungeons in the form of Divine Beasts, and eight different geographical areas to explore, the game definitely lives up to the puzzle-adventure legacy of Zelda, even if it goes about those aspects in an expanded or different form than old-school fans might be used to. The sequel to Breath of the Wild was announced in 2019 and has been highly anticipated ever since. Now that there is a delay in its release, here are five activities I’d recommend to keep up the hype while you wait.
1. Play Breath of the Wild
Whether you’ve never played before or it’s been quite a long time, a great way to wait for the sequel is to experience the original game. This can help you refresh on the story and lore of the world while losing yourself in the wilds of Hyrule. It’ll also help remind you of the controls and play-style which is likely to be similar in the sequel. Breath of the Wild contains hundreds of hours of gameplay if you take the time to truly explore every nook and cranny of the expansive world, making it a great way to bide your time before the sequel is released. For me personally, I always find joy in discovering a corner of the map I’ve never seen before, and it brings me a sense a peace to simply exist in those wild spaces. However, if you’d prefer to keep away from Breath of the Wild entirely so that you are completely fresh at launch, there are plenty of other games that can hold your attention until next year.
2. Play some other puzzle and/or adventure video games
All of the other main titles in the Legend of Zelda series are worth a playthrough if you haven’t had a chance to try them before. Many of the them differ from Breath of the Wild enough that you won’t feel burnt out on the game style when the sequel is released, but they are exceptional puzzle-adventure games in their own right. You can explore the sky or the seas, travel through time or between worlds, and have countless adventures along the way! Legend of Zelda games are just great fun and an excellent way to spend your time while waiting, especially if there is a particular title you’ve been meaning to try and never had a chance to. I’d personally recommend Ocarina of Time and its sequel Majora’s Mask as good starting places, though there are plenty of other excellent less well-known choices such as Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages, as well.
Separate from Zelda, there are many other adventure, puzzle, and adventure-puzzle games worth checking out. If you’re more interested in puzzles and story-driven games specifically, this list is a great starting point. If instead you’re drawn to the action and adventure side of things, some other open-world titles might catch your fancy. Looking for a challenge and not afraid of dark stories and lore? Elden Ring is a masterpiece of a game that isn’t afraid to knock you down a peg. Want something a little older that remains a popular and well-loved classic? The Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind still holds a place on many best RPG and open-world lists. Interested in more focus on the environment and not afraid of some scary elements? Subnautica allows you to dive deep into the beautiful horrors of an ocean on an alien world. Whatever adventure you want to have, there’s surely a game out there that can supply something similar to it.
3. Check out some puzzle and/or adventure based movies and other media
Video games aren’t the only form of media that can get you into the puzzle-solving and adventuring spirit! There are plenty of movies, books, and television shows that can do the trick as well. Some movies in that genre which are perfect to get you ready for an expedition can be found in this list. Detective shows and books of all kinds are also a good option, especially ones that also contain some action or adventure elements such as Sherlock Holmes, Nancy Drew, and Fargo.
If you’re looking for something on the non-fiction side of things, watching nature documentaries such as Planet Earth can inspire explorations of our own world. Real stories of danger and excitement like Free Solo, a documentary focused on a style of rock climbing done alone and without the typical equipment (which looks a lot like the climbing Link does in Breath of the Wild), are thrilling and adventure-filled as well. Don’t be afraid to check out a new genre or work that brings you on the journey with the characters! Some of my personal favorites include exploring the seas with pirates in the anime One Piece, going on an epic odyssey across many lands in the movie and book Lord of the Rings trilogies, and hiking the West Coast Pacific Trail in Wild! No matter your specific interests, there’s a vast world of puzzle and adventure media out there that is sure to keep you busy before the Breath of the Wild sequel is released.
4. Try out an escape room
Tired of doing all your adventures in your living room? A great way to do some puzzle-solving and exploring in the real world is with escape rooms. Escape rooms work to transport you to a different reality and once there, set you up with various clues for many different kinds of puzzles. Solve everything within the time limit and you win! A must-try for lovers of the puzzle-adventure genre, escape rooms can be like playing a video game in real life. And unlike Breath of the Wild, which is single-player, you can bring friends and family with you to play an escape room, making it a group adventure! It’s genuinely one of my favorite things to do with my friends; we tried one out when we were in high school and quickly got hooked. There’s nothing like the adrenaline rush when you solve the last puzzle with only a few minutes or even seconds remaining!
5. Go explore some real wilderness in your area
Breath of the Wild really lives up to its name when it comes to exploration, as many of the places you go to are gorgeous areas of truly wild land. You can climb mountains and cross raging rivers, travel across a vast desert and trudge through snowy tundra. The wilderness is beautiful and dangerous, and when I played, it reminded me to appreciate the beauty inherent to natural areas in the real world, as well.
Because of this, I think that one great way to spend time waiting for Breath of the Wild 2 is to explore the real nature in your area. Whether you live near a national park or in the middle of a city, finding a space that’s dedicated to the natural world can be an adventure in and of itself. Maybe you can take a hike on a mountain trail, or take a boat out onto the ocean or a lake, or even just go for a walk at a park nearby. Whatever the case, you can definitely spend some time getting lost in the wilderness of our world before the world of Hyrule opens up to us again.