11th Sep2019

‘AER: Memories of Old’ Review (Nintendo Switch)

by Britt Roberts

Aer-header

A ‘relaxation game’ with more game play than I usually see in the genre, AER: Memories of Old plays out as almost a gentle tutorial into the world of 3D platform games. The bird-transformation mechanic and sense of openness that it gives however, is really saucy.

Sent out on a mission to the lost land of Gods, you play the last shapeshifter, able to not only traverse the hidden dungeons of the world but also the ability to transform into a bird and fly across the dozens of floating islands that make up the game.

Presented in a low-polygonal style, the game runs quite smoothly and the sense of movement in the skies makes air-travel a real highlight, especially when combined with the lulling music and sounds. You can chat to a handful of NPCs that are scattered around but the bulk of the game is spent moving from place to place and solving the puzzles, all of which are pretty casual in difficulty. You also can’t die in the game so there isn’t really a sense of threat or challenge beyond the aforementioned more cerebral sections of the game.

Clocking in at around two hours or so if you make a concerted effort to move through the main game, AER: Memories of Old feels like it’s designed more to be treated as a way of winding down such as Car Quest or the more recent Feather (which, containing no challenge whatsoever did admittedly feel more like a tech demo than a fully-fledged game). Thinking about it, this game is really what Feather should have been, offering the audio and visual cues that relax the player but also throwing in a dollop of puzzles and places to explore which will really add to the longevity for players who are fans of this more casual genre.

If you are hardened veteran of 3D games and yearn for challenge then this really isn’t the title for you. I personally don’t feel particularly attracted to the genre but I do appreciate that a lot of people get more out of it than I do and so far, AER: Memories of Old is one that I would recommend to fans although Yonder: The Cloudcatcher Chronicles is still the yardstick by which I measure these games, but then….you couldn’t gracefully explore the skies as a bird as you can here.

Heck, just get them both!

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