AER Memories of Old is an exploration puzzle solving game by Forgotten Key and published by Daedalic Entertainment. This game is new to the Nintendo Switch, and we just had to review it!
About the Game
One reason I was inclined to play AER Memories of Old is because of how thrilling the description of the game is. Based off the Nintendo Switch page, the description is:
“Transform into a bird and fly to explore and experience a vibrant world of floating islands in the sky. Venture down into lost ancient ruins where each step leads you closer to the end of the world.”
Who doesn’t want to fly like a bird, explore floating islands, or venture into ruins?
Looking directly into the game, there is a ton of world building, mechanics, and puzzles that I can’t wait to tell you about.
When starting the game, there’s not a ton of background knowledge given. You just sort of jump in and learn as you play. While playing, you take the role of Auk, a young woman who begins her pilgrimage, starting in Karah’s Shrine. In this shrine, Auk picks up this ancient artifact lantern called Karah’s Light. This soon becomes the key to a major mechanic in playing the game. Once out of the shrine, the real game begins.
Because the story is one of the major reasons to play AER Memories of Old, I’ll put any information in the spoiler tab below. Avoid clicking and reading it if you’d love to play the game!
The most prominent mechanic in AER Memories of Old is the flying. Auk is a shape-shifter, who takes the form of a bird. This gives her the ability to move throughout the islands without the need of the sky boats.
Another mechanic in the game is using Karah’s Light (lantern) and interacting with points in puzzles. Using the lantern was very interesting because around the world are little flickering lights, and with the lantern you can see the people’s outlines from the past, and they might have dialogue.
Now, AER Memories of Old is a true exploration and puzzle game. In my experience playing the game, the puzzles take place in the three temples that unlock the key for the ending. The puzzles themselves aren’t too difficult and very straight-forward; follow the glowing lights. The only ‘unforgiving’ part about this is when you fall a long distance or have to retrace your steps. It’s very easy to lose place of where you are, and where you need to go.
One of the most appealing parts about AER Memories of Old for myself were the graphics. They are both simplistic but extremely detailed. The setting is very lined, with sharp edges and utilizing shapes. Having this graphic design with the bright colors and vibrant environment is gorgeous.
Sounds and Ambiance
I believe that the sounds and ambiance are on point with AER Memories of Old. In different locations you find the environment shifting in both theme and sounds. From uplifting such as the Settlement to somber ‘The Tear’, the game has kept the themes perfectly fitting to what the player should be feeling.
Focusing on ‘The Tear’ for a moment, this was a very good spot for AER Memories of Old to shift tones. The stories read in this cave are of loss, sacrifice, and worry. There are quite a few moments like this as the game reflects on the past with the Great Divide, Creator and God King.
The best example to show the care put into this part of the game, check out the trailer below or the soundtrack.
Things We Didn’t Love
As a player myself, I struggled a bit to get through the game. This was only because I am not great with directions, and the map is very simplistic. Now I know this is the design aesthetic, but it was honestly the only thing I couldn’t cope with. I’m definitely that type of gamer that likes ‘go to A then B’ with detailed instructions or mini-map along the way.
So, I really enjoyed playing AER Memories of Old. The game gave me a ton of background information into the world and why we are Auk. My only problem was navigation. I felt like I needed to get to the three temples, the main goal, to complete the game.
When playing this game, I got to roughly 3-4 hours. I definitely could have explored more during my playthrough, and I may go back to find all the lore that I can. It’s surely hidden on islands in the sky.