Zorya: The Celestial Sisters Review – A Finicky Puzzler

Zorya: The Celestial Sisters Review 

In Zorya: The Celestial Sisters, a puzzle co-op game created by Madlife Divertissement, two players must solve a series of increasingly difficult puzzles using their wits and communication. There are a few unique situations to push through in Zorya, as well as some neat systems and a decent story. But it’s held back by finicky controls and a slow pace. One player in particular ends up in long stretches of waiting.

A Tale of Sisters

The story is about two goddess sisters, Aysu and Solveig, who are on a mission to reunite with each other. The main gist is you need to heal the world once both sisters are finally together again. This sets up the conceit for most puzzles. Solveig (the sun goddess) must manipulate time of day so that night goddess Aysu can pass through each area carefully without getting burnt to a crisp and grab an essence to end the level. 

zorya the celestial sisters

There’s also collectibles to find on the way and are often worthwhile because they’ll unlock bonus areas. These side sections have new mechanics to spice up the game play. As my girlfriend and I grew a bit tired of the main puzzles, some of these side missions were a fun diversion to break up the pace. 

As Solveig you get a bird’s eye view of the map and the ability to control daylight. It’s your job to guide Aysu where she needs to go. As Aysu your view is in third person and you’re the boots on the ground. Your job is to move, push, and pull as you go, while getting map awareness from your sister Solveig.

zorya the celestial sisters

It sounds like the right combination on paper but in our experience it often led to one of us waiting for the other to do something so we could discuss the next portion. Solveig would need time to examine the map and you just end up following instructions as Asyu, removing your agency to help solve puzzles.

Confounding Controls

This is compounded by finicky controls. As Aysu I’d fall to my death often and it didn’t often feel fair while navigating areas. Solveig struggles with a camera that doesn’t often cooperate and markers that don’t really help you Aysu find her way. In our time through it was more frustration than cooperation. There were quite a few falls and accidental deaths due odd control movement or camera snafus, requiring us to start from the beginning.  

These controls make what seem like straightforward puzzles, sometimes a try and error test where you hope for the best to get the precision you need.

zorya the celestial sisters

A great art style and visual panache to help bring life to the world of the sisters. The animations leave a little to be desired. But the variety in the landscapes represented in a painterly quality really stand out. The music is also mostly calming, helping undernote the visuals of the world.

While Zorya: The Celestial Sister‘s puzzles will potentially interest enthusiasts in the genre, those looking for a couch co-op game to really sink into may want to reconsider. It Takes Two solves for both players being a part of the puzzle, often dividing and reuniting players in unique ways.

Zorya struggles to maintain a balance between both players. It usually leaves one out in the cold checking their phone to pass the time. If you and a friend are puzzle fiends, there is some charm to be found here and it’s worth a look. There are quite a number of puzzles here and content that you can keep coming back to.

***PC code provided by the publisher for review***

The Good

  • Painterly visuals
  • Lots of content
  • Relaxing music

The Bad

  • Finicky controls
  • Uneven player balance
  • Slow pacing