Take Flight from the Mundane with Aaero | Review

I don’t have time to game.

We’ve all said it, I certainly have. Life gets busy, a million things to do, and we let our favorite leisure activity drop to the side. Here’s the thing though, taking a break and playing a video game will ultimately make you more productive, and help you do those million things faster and better. Deep down we all know this.

Take five and play Aaero

You can find five minutes in your day(yes you can, no excuses), and give your brain a mini vacation with Aaero. Each stage is only about that long, and that brief time soaring through fantastic futuristic environments will give you a break from your day like no other. Pilot your tiny spacecraft through harrowing neon tunnels, riding the glowing rails that boost the games rhythmic soundtrack. Target enemy ships and unleash hot laser death in time with the throbbing beat. The flashing lights, the deep throbbing bass, could this be some MadFellows twisted experiment to trick your celebral cortex into a relaxed but alert theta state?

Get in the cockpit

At its core, Aaero is a music fueled aerial combat game. If you’ve enjoyed Rez or Thumper, this game is definitely your jam. If you’ve never heard of those games, its still your jam, because Aaero melds music into gameplay seamlessly to create a beat powered exhilarating ride like no other. Each stage is designed AROUND a specific music track, and if you guide your craft onto a glowing ribbon, the music swells with an additional beat, bass track, or vocal track depending on the stage. The closer you stay on track, the more sparks fly, point bonuses stack up, and the song “sounds better”. This kinetic connection creates an aural-visual experience that you must experience for yourself! As you fly through the stage, you will encounter enemy ships that you can target with the stick opposite from your movement stick, and with the click of a trigger button, release multiple shots from your beam weapon array. Time your shot to the music, and your foes evaporate into fiery oblivion instantly. Miss the beat and your beams drift lazily toward their targets, giving enemies an opening to blast one of your three “lives” away.

Turn it up

If you aren’t in a place where you can turn up your speakers to hear this game’s thumping beats, at least strap on some good headphones to fully enjoy this game. The superb dubstep heavy soundtrack features Noisia, Flux Pavilion, Katy B, The Prototypes, Neosignal and many more. When you find your zone grinding on a bass track while blasting baddies in sync to the beat, you’ll find yourself grinning ear to ear while tapping your feet. Take that, Mondays!

Find your zone

Besides offering a mind bending meld of mesmerizing visuals and sick beats, Aaero adapts well to whatever gaming mood you find yourself in. Play just one track if you only have time for a quick break. If you have more time and want to get deeper, practice one stage until you can get more stars and unlock a challenging boss level. You can also let your competitive side out by chasing your friends on the leaderboards on Xbox Live/PSN/Steam.

Final Verdict

Since I first saw the demo at the PlayStation experience, I’ve been waiting to tackle the giant sand worm boss again. The rest of the game has also fully lived up to my anticipation. Aaero is one of those rare indie titles that is so good and universal in appeal that I throw out any pretense of objectivity and find myself evangelizing for the game. Masterfully fusing music into gameplay creates a sense of flow that I haven’t felt in quite a while.

I hope that you will give yourself a ticket to soar in Aaero!

Aaero launched to Steam, Xbox One and PlayStation 4 on April 11 for a promotional price of $11.99 (regularly $14.99)

A PS4 copy of the game was provided for the purpose of this review; full disclosure I was a backer on Kickstarter to bring this game to Steam.

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