We know what you're thinking: Resonant Tale looks an awful lot like Zelda: Link's Awakening. It even starts on a beach, and the layout of its map is eerily similar to that of the Game Boy classic. However, what we have here isn't some Palworld-style rip-off but a pint-size homage to one of the best handheld games ever made – one which only demands a couple of hours of your time but keeps you glued to your Playdate for the entire duration.

Resonant Tale is best described as a 'Zelda-lite' – it takes the core conventions of the pre-BotW series and strips them down to their essential components. You don't have a massive inventory to juggle (in fact, you can only carry one 'quest item' at once), and your arsenal is equally limited. You don't even need to press a button to attack enemies; simply walking into them, Ys-style, is enough.

However, the elegantly designed gear-gated progression for which Zelda is famous is present and correct; as an example, you can't remove the bushes which block your path until you have the sword; once this is acquired, the world opens up a little more, only for you to then discover that some routes are blocked by rocks, which can only be removed using bombs – and so on. Meanwhile, chests dotted around the landscape contain treasure tokens, which can be redeemed for extra hearts and other important items.

The game's world is wonderfully realised, offering a pared-down environment that certainly feels like Hyrule (or Koholint Island, if you prefer) despite the simplified visuals. The text font is almost identical, and there are snatches of music which are close to that signature Zelda sound without it actually being the case. The playful and often zany sense of humour seen in Link's Game Boy adventure also carries over, with some genuinely amusing pieces of dialogue being offered up.

There are times when progress seems tricky, but the compact map means it doesn't take long to find the solution – and, if you're still none the wiser, you can choose to disable certain puzzles and player damage in the game's settings. Usually, it's a good rule to simply talk to every NPC, as that's usually what's required to push things forward (oh, and don't forget the Playdate's crank – it comes in handy, that's all we'll say).

Resonant Tale doesn't last all that long, and it's possible to uncover all of the game's secrets and track down every treasure token in the space of a few hours. There's little reason to return once you're done (although, in a neat touch, there are special 'calendar events' depending on the day of the year, which are worth coming back for) – but while it lasts, Resonant Tale is a charming tribute to the Zelda series, and a highly recommended adventure for your Playdate.