Chasing Aurora Review

by Harry Hughes 3 Comments 5 Likes 13,695 Views 08/02/2013 Back to Wii U reviews Chasing Aurora

This title features wings, but sadly doesn’t fly high.

It’s hard to know where to begin with a title like Chasing Aurora. In the words of the developer, it’s a game about capturing the dream of flight. In my eyes, however, it’s more a realization of the ideal of a peaceful world where creatures can roam carelessly and joyfully. There’s very little gaming actually involved.

I still find it difficult to determine whether this is a positive or negative thing. This title, along with others like Little Inferno, look set to change the way we look at digital software. Such variety can hardly hurt the gaming industry, but the fact that the developer has dressed this piece of software up as a game when it is so clearly not is what has potential to hurt this unique offering on a critical front.


The concept that drives the software is simple: players, utlising either the GamePad or a Wii Remote / Nunchuck combination, control majestic birds as they fly through serene environments. Chirps and whistles from other creatures combine with the rushes and gushes of rain and waterfalls to create peaceful environments which aim to mesmerize players and attract them to the atmosphere of the in-game universe. The execution of this element is simply stunning, and will no doubt have players breathless as they explore a peaceful world.

In fact, I would be more than happy if that’s all there was to this title (assuming an appropriate drop in price was also present). However, for some reason, a definite aim was introduced, where players can win, and players can lose. Simply put, the concepts of victory and defeat do not fit in with a game that explores the ideas of peace and harmony.

Assuming you have a friend unlucky and willing enough to want to compete with you in this game, there are three different game-modes you can try. First, hide and seek has a Gamepad-wielding player attempt to hide in the scenery from other players who, using remotes, seek to find the hidden bird and steal its precious gem. The second game-mode is stock-standard game of tag, and the final method of play is exactly the same as the first, except that nobody has the advantage of a second screen.


For those with no friends to play with, or who were questionably expecting a deep solo experience, there’s challenge mode. Essentially, this has players fly through a course of rings as quickly as possible. The longer you can make it before time runs out, the higher your score. With twenty different courses available, most would be expecting a high level of variety, but the fact is that flying in circles for up to five minutes at a time is likely to make the fun factor wane.

Perhaps replay value would be heightened if your high scores for each level were compared against those of others, but instead, you compete with yourself, leaving little motivation to continue the “challenge”.

In short, gameplay is very shallow. Chasing Aurora is more about exploration than achieving a goal, but the effort in introducing a solid gameplay element seems a little lazy at best. Either gameplay should be very deep, or limited to the exploration that makes this title so beautiful. Instead, this game needlessly blurs a line which has existed for generations in the gaming industry.


Obviously, the presentation of this game is beautiful. A feeling of joy and freedom overcomes players as they experience the in-game world, all thanks to the luscious visuals in combination with the fresh audio. But little more than this inspires, and the result is a rather empty experience.

The Final Verdict

Those who can appreciate the true beauty behind a peaceful, harmonic experience will thoroughly enjoy Chasing Aurora. Those looking for a deep gaming journey, however, should stay away, as this game does little to inspire beyond its beautiful presentation. I strongly recommend this for anything who wants to play something different, but be aware that the gameplay available for the high asking price my be less than pleasing.

By Harry Hughes

Chasing Aurora

Got Right
  • + Eye-catching scenery
  • + Relaxing atmosphere
Got Wrong
  • - Gameplay is drab and repetitive
  • - Little replay value
  • - It just isn’t fun
Platform: WiiU
Similar to: And Yet It Moves
 
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Chasing Aurora Review Comments

  • Harry 77312 XP 08/02/2013
    I found it so hard to score this game. On one front, it's absolutely STUNNING. I could not get enough of the atmosphere. On the other hand, it's being sold (at $15, too) as a GAME, and in that department, the game was disappointing to say the least.

    Still, if you purchase the game knowing full well what you're getting, you'll potentially enjoy it very much, so I guess, despite giving it a 5/10, I would still recommend it to you guys. :)
  • Jayden27 2028 XP 08/02/2013
    ^ This.

    I had the chance to interview the developers, Broken Rules, for another site (still need to finish that one....) and this is very much the feedback they've received for the game. In saying that, they're also looking at giving players a more dedicated single-player experience in their next game.
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  • Harry 77312 XP 08/02/2013
    Wow, can't wait to see what they come up with. It's a bit disappointing (again, as a GAME.. as a piece of exploration or relaxation software, it's perfect) as a follow up to And Yet It Moves, but they're a very talented crew and I can't wait to see what they have in store for us.

    Could you drop me a line when you get that interview up? I really wanna see how these guys present, because they're an incredibly unique and talented bunch and I'd love to see what their take is on everything game-dev. :)
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