When you’re the form of gamer who goes bananas for pace operating, have I acquired the sport for you. Aeon Drive is a fast-paced platformer the place your main aim is to get from the beginning of each quick stage to the tip within the quickest doable time. That is totally different from one thing like Tremendous Meat Boy or Celeste, the place precision is a very powerful issue—not essentially pace. Aeon Drive takes the alternative tack—whereas precision platforming does come into play, you are attempting to plow by every of the sport’s 100 phases in about 30 seconds, give or take.
The threadbare story sees our heroine, Jackelyne (often shortened to “Jack,” which I discovered distracting) crashing her spaceship into the futuristic metropolis of Neo Barcelona and racing by phases in an effort to seek out vitality cores for her busted ship. For causes I used to be by no means clear on, she solely has 30 seconds per stage to do that or else her ship’s AI will Groundhog Day her again to the beginning of the stage. Fortunately, every stage is affected by little batteries to choose up and amassing 5 will let Jackie add 5 valuable seconds to the timer.
Any platformer that offers with pace operating will need to have rock-solid controls, and I’m happy to say that Aeon Dive largely meets that demand. Working, leaping, sliding, and attacking all really feel nice, but it surely’s Jackie’s teleportation capability that provides this recreation somewhat further oomph. She’s geared up with a knife-like object that may be thrown and caught to platforms in any path, then a fast faucet of the A button will teleport Jackie to the knife’s location. This enables her to bypass varied lethal obstacles, discover bonus objects, and simply plain transfer by every stage faster. I discovered that teleporting accurately has one thing of a studying curve—you’ll rapidly be requested to throw the knife very precisely in between spiked flooring or by slender shafts. As soon as it clicked, I used to be positive, but it surely most likely took the vast majority of the primary ten phases earlier than I actually felt comfy with this mechanic.
Jackie will even get despatched again to the start if she’s hit by an enemy or environmental hazard, which implies that getting sure bonus objects turns into an train in tedium, which I didn’t take pleasure in. Most phases have no less than one bonus merchandise to seek out and seize (gems, sizzling canines), however they’re completely non-compulsory and often off the crushed path. This isn’t usually the form of recreation I take pleasure in; Mighty Change Drive (and its sequel) is the singular exception. I did, nonetheless, discover myself having fun with Aeon Drive as soon as I suppressed my urge to get 100% completion. I’m positive there are individuals who will take pleasure in clambering throughout every stage, however I’m simply not that man. Fortunately, as soon as I quelled that a part of myself, the sport glided by relatively rapidly.
I might not name myself a fan of recreation’s aesthetic. Totally different ranges are basically palette swaps of the identical metropolis atmosphere. Granted, the backgrounds will change each couple zones, however the foreground components are principally the identical. You may select totally different colour schemes for Jack however I wasn’t significantly drawn to any of them. Her run animation seems to be lacking a few essential frames. The musical rating is peppy, although, with some toe-tapping tracks that saved me going. Every totally different degree (zone) consists of no less than one new wrinkle, like shifting platforms, leap pads, or breakable partitions, however for probably the most half you’ll be doing the identical factor all through. Whereas this does imply you may end Aeon Drive in 1-2 hours, it additionally implies that it turns into considerably rote by the tip.
It does have a multiplayer possibility and on-line leaderboards for every stage, so if aggressive pace operating is your factor, Aeon Drive delivers. For me, it’s an fascinating curio that I’m glad I performed, however received’t be returning to usually.