Parents' Guide to

Aaru's Awakening

By Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Excruciatingly hard platformer could prove irritating.

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It's pretty clear that Aaru's Awakening was designed for people who enjoy a serious challenge. It's an exhaustingly difficult and unforgiving game that demands skilled movement and precision teleportation while rewarding even small mistakes with death. Lots of death. As in, on some levels you'll probably die 100 times or more. Even those who usually enjoy putting their skills to the test may be turned off by this one. Conflicting controls can make it hard to do what you want to do when you want to do it (the mouse pointer is used to control the direction of both Aaru's teleportation ball and his charged pounces, to much frustration), and some levels are simply devious in their design, bordering on unfair.

It feels great when you manage to carry out all the right moves in a tricky area and reach the next checkpoint, but that feeling is frequently tempered by the relentless parade of failures that come before and after. Aaru's Awakening's imaginative world, along with its hand-drawn animated creatures and plants, is pretty to look at, and the teleportation system is pretty cool, but only the most masochistic of players is likely to make it through to the end. This one's just plain punishing.

Game Details

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