Downloadable indie games on a Nintendo console? It certainly isn’t a fluke, and if the discussions are true, I would expect to see more of it in the future. Sure the Wii and 3DS has seen its fair share of downloadable indie titles, but according to some, the Wii U has one of the best infrastructures on which to host these games since Steam. Developer Broken Rules certainly thinks so. Their game Chasing Aurora was available day one on the Wii U eShop for $15, and sits alongside four other games just begging to be noticed. We got a chance to sit down with it, and while unique, I am not quite sure the price tag fits the content.
It is easy to take a quick look at the Chasing Aurora screenshots and see that the style is unique. This is a multiplayer focused experience with simple concepts where you play as a host of different birds. The important bullet point right is that this game is focused on playing with others. That means you need at least an extra Wiimote and nunchuk handy, if you want to get the most out of it.
Fundamentally, this is a chase game featuring segments fairly familiar to a lot of what was offered up in Nintendo Land. The player with the Gamepad is always the odd-man out, and depending on the game type, their objective varies. The other players will work in conjunction or on their own to take down the Gamepad user, either by avoidance, or catching them. You will also swap the Gamepad around between rounds so everyone gets a stab at the various modes. This is the core focus of Aurora, and its three game types are built around that.
First up is Freeze Tag. As you can probably fathom, this involves the Gamepad user taking control of a frosty bird and tagging the other players. The Gamepad provides its own screen for the player here, while the rest share the television, meaning they need to remain close together. Things become hectic quickly, but it is also fun in short bursts.
Next up is Hide and Seek. Just like the name implies, this involves everyone getting their own screen while the objective is to find the person holding the golden orb and obtain it. The idea is to hold said orb as long as possible from the other players. Again, this mode is fun in short bursts, but the Gamepad player definitely has an advantage as no one can see their screen at all.
Finally, we have Chase, which is exactly as it sounds. All players share the same screen, meaning Gamepad users have no advantage. The idea is to grab the orb and try to move the rest of the players offscreen while holding it. Everyone loses energy while being offscreen and the last one to survive wins. This was by far the most enjoyable game, and the most frantic.
Chasing Aurora is fun while it lasts, but none of it has a huge shelf life. Each game type feels relatively familiar, and while novel, none of them scream for repeat performances. It might have been easier to swallow at $5 or even as much as $10, but for $15 this game feels overpriced for what you get. The ideas are sound, but the concept simply fails to deliver reasons to come back. I suggest waiting for a sale or price drop before diving into this unique, but limited title.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.