Some of you may remember me talking about this game a while back, and the guys over at Modus Games sent me a review copy, namely Geoff (seriously go check them out on Twitter) which I am always grateful for. I always like to get this admission out of the way before I review a game because I feel everyone deserves to know. That being said, let us talk about this tale of love that was sent to me appropriately on Valentine’s day.
The game is described as “an atmospheric 2D puzzle platformer”, which tells you a lot and nothing at the same time oddly enough. Sure it will tell you what the game is, but I don’t feel it truly does this game justice. You will control two characters, Ember, who is always in what can probably be best described as summer and Rime, who is always in winter. The two leave their homes and meet on a bridge, and from there they will go on a magical journey of discovery where they will get to know the world around them, each other, and how their abilities will help each other. Yes, there is more to the story, so much more which is both beautiful and for me was sad in its own way but I never want to spoil the experience for you guys.
The key aspect of this game is the puzzles. They range from simple things like using Ember to light something and move a platform to use Rime to freeze some water to walk across. Later you will get a sort of wand to create a bridge out of the area between worlds for one of the characters to walk across with the purpose of collecting scarfs which after collecting so many will allow you to access new areas. See, this is where the sad part was for me. These two characters work together and get closer and closer, but they can’t touch each other or ever truly embrace. Their worlds of summer and winter are literally keeping them apart. I don’t know if this was an intentional thing from the developers over at Moondrop games, but for me, it was a constant thread in my journey.
The puzzles were also very well done. See many are pretty straight forward while others pissed me off to no end, but they were fair. I never came across a puzzle I felt was unfair or that once I figured it out I was left wondering who would ever have thought of that. Despite the fact that I hate the phrase, this isn’t the “Dark Souls” of puzzle games and it isn’t designed for you to fail until you figure things out. It wants you to succeed and watch the story unfold and it wants you to explore.
The real thing I loved about this, however, was the couch co-op. Yes, you can play this by yourself, and you are free to do so. I started that way and had some fun. However, when my friend joined me is when we had some fun. She isn’t a gamer, I just said hey Casey I need some help come play a game so she did. She had no issue picking it up and I really didn’t have to explain much to her. It was great to have someone else to help figure out the puzzles and I truly believe this is the best way to experience the game.
The one big gripe I have about this game is there is a quick travel system. The issue is I found it on accident and until that point, I had no idea. While we were trying to figure out one puzzle I got a little to close to a little object, in the picture below it looks like stacked rocks with orange arrows for guidance. When I hit circle I turned into a butterfly to follow the paths to places I have collected the scarfs.
All that being said, the real question comes down to the one simple question, should you spend your hard earned money on this game? Truth be told, I don’t like puzzle games. I never would have bought this game truth be told, but I asked for the review copy because Geoff is a good guy and Modus games are quickly becoming one of my favorite companies. They haven’t let me down yet and I have enjoyed everything of theirs I have played. The day will come when I will sadly have to say hey this game sucks don’t buy it, but today is not that day. The story is nice and I quickly became attached to them, I never came across any glitches and the graphics and sound matched what they were trying to tell. This game is Savior approved, 9/10 one of the best puzzle games I have played.