A new trailer for teleportation platformer Aaru’s Awakening introduces us to one of the realms you’ll be playing through: the Domain of Day.
The game sees you leaving the realm of your master, Dawn, to meet a threat coming from the land of Night. To get there you must pass through the lands of Dawn, Day, and Dusk. If this trailer is representative of all the worlds, each will be an arrestingly drawn area.
Day looks quite unlike anything else.
Your immediate reaction may be to see it as just a dusty desert but throughout the video are little details that set Day up as an alien world. Unnatural rock formations, oil plumes which are just too thick, and tunnels that couldn’t exist in reality. That art style for a start. It has something of the high fidelity drawing you see in comics like Terry Pratchett’s The Light Fantastic. It gives things an air of hyper realism. It raises the world into fantasy because all the entities are almost too highly defined.
It looks excellent.
The story hits that same tone. It’s on the verge of a becoming a fable. Using the span of a day to delineate realms in a world is a great idea. You will fight through from the lightest parts of the day towards the darkest. Each level taking you closer to the evil inhabiting night. It’s simple but it’s effective.
This simplicity carries into the mechanics. You have two actions in Aaru: charge and teleport. Charge dashes you forwards a short distance. If you activate it in midair then you hover for a brief time. This quality is vital when combined with teleport.
To teleport you first fling a glowing orb. Hitting teleport will then instantly place you where that orb lies. Because the orb must first travel the distance you want to teleport, there will be times you use charge to hold you above a fall while you wait for the orb to reach your target location.
The mechanics are simple but, if that video is representative, there will be a lot of nuance to master before you’ll be completing the game.
Aaru’s Awakening is due out later this year. I’m looking forward to seeing something of each of the realms in the coming months.