Game Review: Aaero (Xbox One X)

Aaero is a rhythm, action, twin-stick shooter game that was developed by two-man British Independent developer Mad Fellows. Aaero isn’t the type of game that I play very often. The last similar game I can compare it to is Child of Eden which released in 2011.

Aaero sees players navigating through alien environments in a futuristic flying craft. As the music plays, ribbons of light bend and twist in the air, visualizing aspects of the song. Sometimes it’s vocals. Sometimes it’s strange electronic wails. Using the left analogue stick, players must grind against those ribbons in order to absorb the energy of the music.

Each level only lasts a few minutes. Upon completion you’ll be given a star based rating calculated by your score and an overall percentage based on how well you followed the ribbon. Throughout each voyage you’ll encounter enemy crafts that you must destroy. You only have 3 lives and death resets your combo. In order to unlock levels you need a certain number of stars. There are 3 different difficulties; normal, advanced & master.

On the surface, Aaero is deceptively simplistic. However, you’ll need genuine skill and inch perfect timing if you wish to succeed. This is a rhythm game in every sense of the word, you’ll need to feel the music. Talking of the music, it isn’t great. If you can’t stand dubstep then this might not be the game for you. Still, even though it isn’t my cup of tea I felt it suited the style of the game wonderfully.

The visual style of Aaero is one of its biggest strengths. Zooming down long corridors following the ribbon is an exhilarating experience. It’s almost too beautiful in that you’ll want to slow down and take it all in but Aaero is a game about speed and precision. Once I started playing, I didn’t want to stop. There is a slightly addictive nature to it due to the short levels and desire for perfection.

Something I have to criticize is the poor tutorial in the game. It just doesn’t do a good job of explaining most of the tempo based mechanics. Most notably that shooting enemies themselves needs to be done rhythmically. Doing so in time with the music makes you shoot more powerful projectiles. This a must on harder stages as enemies soak up more damage.

Also, it’s a shame that you’re locked out from chunks of the game if you’re simply not good enough. I managed to get through all of normal and most of advanced stages but I couldn’t unlock the master levels. It makes sense because I’d definitely suck at them but still.

Aaero likely sounds like something you wouldn’t enjoy but I highly recommend you give it a chance. I guarantee you’ll discover a game that’s innovative and most importantly, a whole lot of fun.




Aaero
  • The Final Score - 8/10
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