So, under the spotlight this time around is Aron’s Journey in Dreamland, a 2D action/adventure platformer devloped by Meruvia Game Studio. It’s available from the Xbox Live Marketplace for the rather pricey sum of 240 Microsoft Points. So, I hear you asking the big question, is it any good? Yes, it is.
As you can probably guess, the game follows Aron, a green troll who is lost when on holiday in a rather large forest. His main objective is to make it back to the safety and comfort of the Inn. Unfortunately, a terrible storm tears down on the forest and Aron seeks refuge in a nearby castle, unsurprisingly this is where the adventure begins…
The game is presented rather well, with the atmosphere changing to match your surroundings. The Amiga-style graphics are exactly what you’d expect from a platformer of this type, they’re cute and easy on the eye. The audio very much falls into the same category, with early-90s Amiga style music and sound effects; nice and simple. Similar to the early Mario games, Aron can jump on the heads of enemies in order to kill them, in this case, skeletons and evil flower plants. If you’re too lazy to do that, you can throw a fireball instead, but jumping on a flower plant’s head is far more fun though.
The game, although relatively entertaining, doesn’t get really fun until you’ve been playing for a while and things become increasingly hard. Until then, you’ve just got to put up with effortlessly working your way through relatively easy levels. Not a huge negative point, but it could potentially put a few people off.
The game’s controls are what you’d expect, but some bugs to tend to pop up on occasion. You move with the usual stick and you press A to jump (twice to double jump) or choose X to throw a fireball and Y to switch character. Your health appears in the upper left of the screen in the form of a health meter, the meter display a number of hearts signalling how many lives you have left.
To sum up, Aron’s Journey in Dreamland is a well-designed platformer that does exactly what is says on the tin. It doesn’t cause your jaw to drop in awe and doesn’t have anything that hasn’t been done before, but it’s a nice, cute little game that’ll take up an hour or two of your time with ease, and I’m sure that’s all most people want in an Indie game. Aron’s Journey is a fine achievement on Meruvia Game Studio’s part, kudos to them.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Microsoft Xbox 360 code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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