The 3D platformer Ary and the Secret of Seasons offers an interesting control system for the seasons but doesn’t seem to have much to offer beyond it. Read more in the review.
Developer: eXiin, Fishing Cactus
Publisher: Modus Games
Release date: September 1, 2020
A young girl named Ariel is the daughter of the guardian of winter, who protects his domain. After an unexpected catastrophe, the heroine decides to take the fate of the world into her own hands: armed with a wooden sword, she runs away from home and goes on a journey to “fix” the seasons.
The plot is one of the reasons you should play Ary and the Secret of Seasons. More precisely, not even him, but cut scenes filled with visual jokes and witty dialogues. Unfortunately – no Russian-language localization. Nevertheless, the script is quite funny, and the videos would look good as a full-fledged cartoon on an entertainment channel for children.
The developers of the project were clearly inspired by the unforgettable series The Legend of Zelda: the game offers us an open world with puzzles, monsters, and secrets. Sometimes it is like Metroidvania: we can gain new abilities and return to an area previously closed to the public. However, Ary and the Secret of Seasons does not give much motivation for this: there are no such valuable rewards to make you want to explore the world.
Likewise with side quests, of which there are many. You can safely rush forward along with the linear storyline, without being distracted by secondary tasks. Getting a thank you from an NPC is fine, but what about a new sword or costume? Alas, customization items will have to be bought from merchants for hard-earned coins.
You expect an unforgettable adventure from the open world of the game, and sometimes Ary and the Secret of Seasons live up to expectations. There are quite interesting puzzles in which it is necessary to use the abilities acquired by the girl – she knows how to control the seasons. So, the spell of winter will allow you to build an ice bridge over the river, and autumn magic summons vines, along which you can climb to the top of the castle. In some areas, you can find especially tricky tasks that require quick wits and dexterity – there are also enough tests with jumping on platforms.
Alas, the game lacks interesting battles. Battles with ordinary opponents are too simple and do not give rewards – it is easier to run past than to get into a confrontation. Moreover, the camera does not behave quite adequately during clashes, and impacts are not felt at all, which, combined with slow animations, and is annoying. Boss-fights are more varied and make you look for a special approach to the enemy, but there are too few of them to enjoy them. Finally, after dying, Ari does not lose anything – even the bosses do not restore health.
Another problem with Ary and the Secret of Seasons is unstable performance. I’ve gotten stuck in objects countless times – and it looks like the game is “aware” of this bug, as soon after getting stuck it throws the heroine several meters.
In the very first location, a mirror is installed that honestly reflects the environment – and happily warms up not the weakest video card to temperatures that it never dreamed of before. Owners of budget assemblies will surely be “satisfied”. Sometimes textures are not drawn, and NPCs refuse to enter into dialogue with the character.
These bugs can be used for fast passage, bypass difficult puzzles – of course, if you are lucky not to “break” the game while doing so. It looks like the developers needed to take some more time to polish the project.
Ary and the Secret of Seasons is a good game, ambitious and funny, but ruined by technical problems and weak combat. The children, for whom it is designed, will not be embarrassed, but the adult players will be uncomfortable in it. Therefore, if you are over ten years old, and you are looking for an interesting platformer for yourself, it is better to take a closer look at the alternative options.