What is it about pixel art in video games that elicits such strong reaction out of me? Is it the retro charm, the nostalgic reminiscing, or just the simplicity of the art style? Honestly, I tend to think it’s a little bit of all this and the fact that these games are always super fun in spite of their humble look.
Aura of Worlds certainly has that 32-bit magic going for it; that and its highly addictive platformer vibe made it a worthy participant at PAX Rising this year. I was lucky enough to play through it several times, and each time I had a blast, owing particularly to the fact that no two play-throughs ever felt the same.
Developed by Melbourne based team Cognitive Forge, Aura of Worlds is a strategy based, rogue-like platformer, possessing a strong focus environment exploration. To get the most of the game you’ll need to assess the best strategy for both slaying enemies and overcoming obstacles in your path.
Throughout play I constantly had to employ quick thinking skills and a little creativity to ensure I made it to the next level, even sometimes choosing to run rather than engage if my weapon was ill suited against an opponent. As I progressed I gained various beneficial items to help me either clear a path or equip new weapons to fell my enemies with. I particularly enjoyed the stages where I had to race against the clock; escaping a pool of rising lava, or evading a descending cloud of toxic pollen made for some suspenseful game play too.
The game has taken its inspiration from such platformers and roguelike games as Spelunky, 20XX, Mega Man, and Metroid, and it clearly shows in its gameplay, which demands a lot of fast thinking and quick reaction times. The full game features over 60 enemies and traps to overcome, a slew of items available to achieve your goal, and is designed to encourage players to think outside the box when looking to reach the end of the stage.
Aura of Worlds is currently available to purchase and play (soft release) on PC for itch.io and will be coming to Steam in 2018, although no concrete date has been set yet. It is also worth mentioning that any player who purchases it now for itch.io will also be provided a copy on Steam as well.