This gorgeous title from indie developer Mad Fellows brings the player a wonderful rhythm game experience. Aaero is a challenging game in which the player finds themselves tracing ribbons of light, fending off hostile machines, avoiding elements of the environment and even engaging in boss fights. A rich experience filled with a variety of gameplay elements, creating something that is both relaxing and appropriately difficult, blending calmer sections of the levels seamlessly with the slightly more frantic segments.
Aaero requires a controller to play as the player controlled ship that you use to navigate the levels is steered using the two joysticks. As you move through each level you will have to use one stick to steer the ship and the other to aim at any enemies that appear on your screen. Thankfully steering the target tracker over the enemies locks onto them and once you’ve targeted all the enemies on the screen a simple tap of the right trigger delivers the necessary weapon fire to dispatch them. As you progress you will encounter enemies that fire homing missiles at you that need to be targeted and dealt with before they hit you as your little ship has a very limited amount of health. Aaero frequently interweaves these enemies in with the strict rhythm sections, which can be confusing to begin with but offers a perfect level of complexity. You are required to be alert at all times to effectively deal with these sections of the levels and no level is boring because of it. Additional difficulty modes that are available after playing the tracks through on normal adds another layer of challenge for those that find the normal mode simple enough to beat.
The stunning visual presentation of the game further adds to how great it feels to play. With graphics that are simple, yet extremely well put together Aaero maintains a futuristic and even slightly mysterious atmosphere to it. You find yourself traversing through vast derelict ruins and flying beside fascinating structures but the game leaves you with little time to wonder what they are or where they may have come from as the next challenge is thrown at and consumes your attention.
The muted colour palette of the overall environment contrasts beautifully with bright ribbons of light that you are required to trace your ship along in time to the music. The overall appearance of the game and the well designed visuals make it a lovely thing to look at.
Aareo offers an excellent licensed soundtrack. Many of the tracks lean heavily into the electronic genres with some of them potentially not being to most peoples individual tastes, but they work extremely well as tracks for the levels in this game, providing you with appropriate beats and vocal hooks to infuse the play experience with the energy and pace to match the variation in gameplay elements and challenge.
Regardless of whether you’re a veteran in the world of rhythm games or whether you’re brand new and have never experienced anything of the like before, Aaero offers a truly enjoyable experience. For those who are veterans there are harder difficulties once you’ve unlocked all the tracks via normal mode and normal mode is not over challenging but sufficiently difficult for those who are less experienced. For all levels of play there is plenty of content to work through and for the asking price this wonderfully crafted game is certainly worth it.