I went to Gamescom 2023 in Germany and got to experience Song of Nunu gameplay first-hand, which quickly became one of the highlights of my trip.

You should know I write this preview as a post-beta League of Legends player who can’t seem to stop playing and writing about the game. I have tons of skins and millions of mastery points… just not in Nunu and Willump.

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Considered one of the most unpopular champions in League of Legends, the champion has a total of 11 skins at the time of writing. In contrast, super popular champions like Lux, Miss Fortune, and Ahri have near 20 skins with prestige editions, special editions, and a wide variety of chromas.

Because of this, I was curious about why Riot Forge and Tequila Works decided to make an entire game on one of the least picked champions in League of Legends and how I’ll feel about it, considering I have no emotional attachment to this champion.

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Song of Nunu gameplay preview: Too cute, too cute, too cute, and surprisingly fun

Song of Nunu official screenshot showing Nunu and Willump looking out into The Freljord
Credit: Riot Forge

Not going to lie, Ruined King was an instant buy. Viego is my king in the League of Legends universe. And because Morgana is in The Mageseeker, I picked that up too.

Nunu and Willump? Not exactly a champion that rents space in my mind. The only time I really think about them is when we’re on Howling Abyss and there’s one on the enemy team. Nobody wants to die from a fully charged “hide on bush” Absolute Zero. It’s embarrassing.

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Thankfully there’s nothing embarrassing about messing up and dying in Song of Nunu, which was a relief. The game is not punishing, Riot Forge Creative Director Rowan Parker and Tequila Works Associate Game Producer Tom Ruiz assured me, as they guided me through the demo. If you miss a jump or you fall, you can simply replay it.

Nunu and Willump in Song of Nunu playing with the flute in a minigame
Credit: Riot Forge

This happened a few times during the playthrough. In particular, there was one tough jump I simply could not make. Due to its distance, you had to jump at precisely the right frame in order to get across. Tom tried to help me, and he too needed a few times to finally make the jump, so it may very well may not end up in the final game.

You’ll also be able to climb rocks, remove obstacles, sled through the snow, and play the flute, to name a few. One of the highlight mechanics for me was creating terrain with snowballs, a standout trait of the 2009 OG champion.

Song of Nunu release date, gameplay, trailer

Reaching a river, we used Nunu to aim and throw snowballs onto the water, which freezes it up. Willump then walks over the frozen ice to get across. We even froze a waterfall while hanging off a cliff, transforming it into passable terrain.

Nunu and Willump in Song of Nunu bracing a snowstorm
Credit: Riot Forge

The best of part in all this is that Willump’s piggyback mechanic is automatic. The game knows when you’re about to enter into an encounter that requires both of their skills, so Willump automatically puts Nunu on his back. Amazing how your best friend is able to read your mind.

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These puzzles are interspersed with dialogue and interactions between the two, as we learn about their past and why they’re on this journey together. Even though it was a short playthrough, I could feel how much love there is between them and how much love Tequila Works put into these characters, which caused my impression of them as a single League of Legends champion to melt away.

Topping it all off, there’s a dedicated “hug button”. Press it, and Nunu and Willump will keep hugging each other, which definitely gave me warm and fuzzy feelings inside. Aww!

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