Aveyond is strangely compelling and makes for hours upon hours of game play, keeping you entertained at every twist and sometimes strange turn
My god this game is cute. From the moment this little 8bit style RPG wonder starts its opening sequence you're hooked. Well I was, cooing as a little butterfly winged its way through fantastical old style environments to the chosen one, admittedly a strangely adult looking "child". Plunged into a sweet little world populated with bulbous trees and pretty flowers, one is disoriented by the unbearable cuteness. Innocence reigns in the beginning stages of the game and it's all picking flowers and celebrating the summer solstice, not to mention helping out a strange priestess. As day to night, the dusk brings with it a rosy glow over the land and as Rehn our heroine drifts off to sleep all is well with the world.
Aveyond: A magical new world.
Get ready to do battle against the forces of darkness...
That all changes the very next day, when in a shocking twist of events, our fair protagonist is captured by a strange man (that's why you don't talk to strangers kids) and sold into white slavery. Maybe I've already revealed to much, but the storyline is strangely compelling and even dark in some respects, something you don't expect from such an innocent looking game.
It's your duty to guide Rehn from slavery to saving the world, a task you achieve by battling all manner of strange beasties in a well designed, albeit simplistic turn based battle system. Killing beasties earns you money which you'll need to buy food and items to replenish you energy reserves and progress through the game. Whilst engaged in battle, you either hit, use a skill, shield yourself or choose an item. This basically amounts to a lot of repetitive enter key tapping. It is still fun though, as you learn more skills and gain new members to your party. There is also an impressive array of creatures to battle. These creatures have different temperaments and attributes, with some being harder to kill than others, and some being more or less aggressive. Some seem to be intent on preying on our young heroine, while others clearly couldn't give a toss. You learn skills throughout the game which enable you to kill more effectively and quickly, which is quite a relief after the bashing away at the early stages.
The world itself is impressively large, with many different locations all defined by various environmental cues and inhabited at times with different beasts. You'll also have to have a fairly decent sense of direction, as you navigate through the sometimes maze like world, remembering whether or not you passed by that particular clump of trees before is a skill worth developing. Because the quests do not have to be solved in a linear fashion, there is plenty of scope to explore and side quests all over the show which make the experience very immersive indeed. This makes Aveyond much more than a game, it's an experience. You can do all sorts of other things that don't relate directly to the game as well, like buy a house and things of that nature.
Explore though unknown territory...
A good amount of work has gone into both the execution and design of this game, and though it looks simplistic, the proof is definitely in the playing. There is a nice mix of obvious elements with more difficult problems to solve, and the effort put into the characters is truly impressive. They actually do have a fair amount of personality, and can be politically incorrect at times as well, the mark of a true indie designer coming into play here as Amaranth Games shows just how much creative freedom they have. This makes for some interesting relations between characters, with "enemies" sometimes being forced to fight on the same side.
If there were to be some criticisms, it would have to be that the AI isn't up to much in some places, with some of the characters wandering around in predetermined sequences, which unfortunately means that sometimes they will block you for several moves and you just have to wait for them to mindlessly meander past so that you can continue upon your way. It's a small glitch though, and for some reason it seems to fit the game, almost like another one of its challenges.
The music fits in well with the game, various sweet little tunes accompanied by the occasional set of ominous tones compliment the game play well. Perhaps a small complaint would be the preset sounds that indicate you've received something. A massive fanfare seemed fair enough in the case of receiving a rare and powerful ring, but when you're just getting an empty wicker basket it seems a tad like overkill.
And in strange places...
Load some adventure into your day!
This is a big game with the face of a little game, so don’t be fooled, We all know that appearances can be deceiving, and in this case, they definitely are. Aveyond is strangely compelling and makes for hours upon hours of game play, keeping you entertained at every twist and sometimes strange turn. The good news is that the demo for this game and full versions of Amaranth’s other games are available at their website, so check it out if you’re a fan of the genre. The final diagnosis? Aveyond: Incurably cute.
TOP GAME MOMENT
Enjoying the retro feel of the game as I guided little Rehn through the forests, battling pink and purple spiders and collecting gold tokens. No there aren’t any hot graphics or wicked battle scenes, but that’s not what this is about. This is gaming like it used to be, only better and here in the new millennium.