Just when I was beginning to forget about rhyme games Aaero flies in and reminds me just how compelling the genre can be. Few games have combined rail shooting with rhythm game mechanics and yet Aaero showcases just how well they fit together with a combination of tight controls and excellent music. The combination of sensory input is so immersive that I often forgot about my health, the score, and my position on the track. After a while, you just start feeling it, and it’s great.
The design of Aaero is simple but elegant. The goals are simple, make it to the end of the course while keeping the beat to achieve a higher score, shoot enemies before they shoot you. The controls are simple, with two thumb sticks and one shoulder button (if on console) you control everything. The look is simple, everything is low-fi and boxy with washed almost pastel textures and bright indicators to showcase your track and shooting. Every piece of the game can be summed up in a sentence or two but it is in that simplicity that the game really shines.
“Few games have combined rail shooting with rhythm game mechanics and yet Aaero showcases just how well they fit together with a combination of tight controls and excellent music.”
Aaero is a game that seeks to perfect one premise rather than try to balance many. There is no story to speak of but it doesn’t need one. Each level is a different experience with a different soundtrack and feel. While mechanically they are very similar, they feel different and in the end, that’s what matters. The game doesn’t change its formula every other level and that’s part of why it works, it knows what it’s trying to do.
While the scope of the game is small it is very engrossing. I tested the game with a group of friends and while I found playing it to be absorbing I also noticed everyone else in the room tapping their feet and nodding with the song. With each failed attempt others were eager to take up the torch and try to get further. Everyone was either excited to play, happy to watch, or just jamming out to the music. While Aaero has a small scope and limited replay-ability it is an experience unlike any other. Whether you play one of the various difficulty modes or the relax playing the Chillout mode, this is a great game worth experiencing for yourself.
*** PS4 code provided by the publisher ***
- Simple but elegant design
- Smooth controls
- Great Music
- If you don’t like EDM the tracks may become grating