Reviews - Updated on March 29, 2022

The main character of Aeon Drive escaped during a galactic war into an unknown dimension. A malfunction is discovered in her ship, due to which she has to make an emergency landing in the city of Neo-Barcelona. And there she needs to find the nuclei that will allow the heroine not only to repair the ship, but also to save the city from complete destruction.

There is no time to explain

That’s all you need to know about the story in Aeon Drive – as you progress you will hear a couple more dialogues with local artificial intelligence, but in general, the story does not play any role here. Above all, in this platformer, the gameplay, or rather, the speed through the levels. There are ten regions with ten “missions” in each, and whichever one you take, the condition is the same everywhere – to get from one corner of the map to another in just 30 seconds.

In most cases, this is quite easy to do – it is not necessary to rush and run non-stop. But the difficulty gradually increases along with the number of obstacles in the way of the heroine. First, these are opponents scurrying from side to side or flying above the ground. Then energy barriers are added to them. Then – disappearing platforms, collapsing walls, turrets and so on. But there is almost always an option to either take a second break or find a less dangerous path.

Aeon Drive: Overview

Turret projectiles can be destroyed with a sword.

However, as soon as you reach the end of the level, the game will gently hint that it is desirable to restart it and go through it differently. First, you probably missed all the collectibles – either you have to look for them on purpose, or they are hidden behind several traps. Secondly, you will see a table of records and find yourself in not the highest positions. When you complete an episode in 25 seconds, and seven is enough for someone, it becomes interesting how this is even possible.

As a result, you return to the levels of Aeon Drive more than once or twice, trying to collect everything and at the same time find shortcuts. The design of the locations is wonderful: there are always forks, you come across platforms that are clearly hanging for a reason, and you use the heroine’s abilities more and more confidently every time. She uses her sword to slash opponents who die in one hit, rolls, can bounce off walls, and wields a magical dagger. If you throw it at a wall or ceiling, and then press the button again, you will move to it and leave all obstacles behind.

It is possible and faster.

Only forward!

There is no pumping in the game, nor initially blocked skills – the character can perform everything from the first level. The controls are very convenient and understandable, and over time you begin to learn some subtleties – for example, a slide kills opponents in the same way as a sword, but when you swing the sword, the character seems to slow down for a while. Found a way to save a split second! If difficulties arise, collect the time capsules scattered around – when you press a special button, they will add five seconds to your timer. True, one of the “achievements” requires you to complete the entire game without using these items, and indeed this is “cheating”.

Aeon Drive: Overview

If the dagger does not get stuck in the wall, there will be nowhere to teleport.

So for “speedrunners” and those who like to improve their own results, Aeon Drive is a great entertainment that will drag on for a long time thanks to a large number of levels. Ordinary players who just want to run to the end will not be bored either – the gameplay turned out to be pleasant. Not Celeste or Super Meat Boy polished up, but a fun platform game for an evening or two. True, the almost complete absence of history will be a big minus for someone.

But the game looks good – it’s not the most interesting pixel art, but at the same time, there are no situations when everything turns into a mess. Nothing prevents you from quickly running from one corner to another, simultaneously pressing the buttons. And groovy electronic music perfectly complements the atmosphere.

Aeon Drive: Overview

There are so few dialogues that it was possible not to add them.

The only thing that annoyed me a little about the gameplay was the appearance of a countdown after each death. When you die again, first you see a black screen for a second, and then you wait another three seconds until the game allows you to start moving. I like the Celeste approach more, where in case of death you are immediately transferred to the starting position and you can immediately try again. It’s a pity that there is no corresponding option in the settings.

First of all, Aeon Drive will be of interest to those who like to quickly go through dynamic platform games. Here for such people there is everything: convenient control, a good picture and a large number of large, branched levels. The lack of a story might be a deterrent for an audience that prefers story-driven games, but even those users will certainly enjoy Aeon Drive. Perhaps someone else’s results in the leaderboards can encourage them to return to the old levels and study them better.

Pros: a hundred levels with their own features and obstacles; the heroine immediately has all the necessary skills, and they do not need to be unlocked as you progress; excellent location design – there are always several paths available, and often the game directly hints at their presence; convenient management; cool music.

Cons: the story is relegated to a very distant plan; You can’t turn off the three-second countdown, and it gets in the way when you replay the level over and over again.

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