Aer -

- Even Alander

I recently completed Aer on the Switch. It's like there is a good game in there, somewhere, I swear.

What is it

It's an adventure game without fighting, a platformer with imprecise controls, and a bird simulator with few complaints. There is a story about gods that is losing connection with the human world and a void like creature to fill that space. You control a shape shifter that can transform to a bird at will, but only when out in the open. Some text sends you out on a spiritual pilgrimage and for everywhere you end up going is indoors and you can't fly. There is some platforming, and you stand on some squares and push a button at times.

My turn to fly

At the moment you lift off the ground a beat and melody starts playing on top of the ambient music. It's super nice. There are floating islands. Only once do you actually need to fly through some structures to solve a bit of the game. And I find that to be such a shame. Flying in this game feels good, and when shifting to human form you can dive through the clouds at speed. And the music is sort of nice. But it is threated like a loading screen to the next section. Before you know it the music abruptly changes or disappears as you enter a new area. And you have to land, wait for an actual loading screen, and run around indoors.

What it could be

At it simplest it could just have been an exploration game. You just go flying between the areas. The music should just be a playlist of the nice songs, no need to alter the mood too much. It could be a game about taking great pictures, maybe some collectibles. That would be my pitch if you weren't changing it too much.

Then the epic sceneries from the temples could have been corners of the land or something. And the indoor temple space could have been more islands in the sky.

But I feel like there is more to do with movement. Say you could grind on some rails on the island to build momentum, then transform to a bird, hit some rings or something for speed ups. There could be timed races and tricks to do for style points, as well as hitting targets precisely. Occasionally I daydream about creating my own game, and this sounds like a game I would very much like to play. Now, if I get around to actually make something is rather more doubtful. But it is nice to dream.

The year that wasn't