I always find it surreal to review a game, especially when it’s been sent to me.
There’s always a thought in the back of my head that I don’t want to come off rude or obnoxious, I want to give everything a fair chance and I want to really consider all the bases before I make a decision as to what I’m going to say.
I want to be objective but at the same time, I want to ensure that my comments are constructive and informative, not simply negative derision.
Which lead me to ask this question.
Can you really offer any critique to a title that’s currently going for £0.39 on Steam?
Let me explain.
I was sent a copy of Aborigenus for the Switch and felt pretty positive about getting to grips with the title, supposedly about to embark on a tough-but-fair platformer to save my tribe and my beloved.
It wasn’t really what I expected, turning out to be a half-hour experience with very basic controls that really left me feeling a bit empty, but it also caused me to really sit and think before I wrote, because is it really possible to critique something like this for such a low price?
The conclusion I came to?
Yes; it’s not only something that can be reviewed, it’s something that SHOULD be reviewed.
I honestly believe that the indie scene is one of the most important when it comes to the future of video games, with titles like Undertale and Stardew Valley really showing not only what passion can achieve, but also what we’re really missing in the AAA games sector right now, titles with real heart that still evoke feelings within the player.
This, on the other hand, just seems to really detract from that. It’s a shame as I really had high hopes for what could be achieved utilising the setting and characters, but instead, we’re left with a bare-bones platformer that doesn’t really offer anything.
Enemies are basically optional, easily avoided and ignored. Unlockable skills are easily disregarded and the levelling system feels unrewarding and crow-bared into the title.
The plot is razor-thin (literally, chase the kidnapped members of your tribe and wife) and in honesty, I can’t really say much in regard to positives for the game, apart from the fact that I didn’t mind the music at first, before it looped for the third or fourth time.
I wish I had more to say, but by the time we saw something akin to intrigue, the game ends, leaving the player feeling cold and disinterested.
Now remember that the game is usually £3.99…
Honestly, I think part of the reason it’s so vital to really review titles like this is because anyone is capable of creating something amazing, given the right guidance, and providing that feedback (regardless of how harsh) might just be the push in the right direction someone really needs to create the next Dust: An Elysian Tale.
So I don’t write this out of malice or scorn, instead I’m writing this in hope, that someone reads this and really takes to heart the fact that you can create something unique and wonderful, as long as you really take your time, invest your passion and push your limits.
Unfortunately, Aborigenus doesn’t really do this in any regard, instead coming across like an incredibly basic demo of something I’d never consider purchasing.
Take it back to the drawing board, think about the feelings and emotions of your audience and show me what you can do.