Embers of Mirrim is a side-scrolling platformer where you play as two creatures that were joined as one. What distinguishes this game from other platformers is the ability to split into two embers, which can be controlled separately with the analog sticks. Though this is a unique concept in theory, the execution is where this demo fell short for me.
Your creature (a rather cool looking…kitty-dragon thing?) also has the ability to run and glide, but the biggest emphasis is on those two embers, a light ember that can pass through green barriers and a dark one that can pass through purple. Using both control sticks independently of each other is already a feat of coordination, made extremely frustrating when one ember would get stuck a good portion of the time. I have no idea if I was doing something wrong or if it was the game, but for the first half of the demo, the right ember would get stuck and would refuse to move, forcing me to try over and over again until it wanted to cooperate. During the latter half, the left ember decided it wanted to test my patience instead. Sure, the embers can’t stray too far from each other, but even once I realized this, it wasn’t long before I confirmed that this was not the reason the embers were getting stuck.
The other problem I had was that the gameplay was not varied enough to prevent itself from feeling tedious. There was one point in the demo where hollow tree trunks fall down a waterfall, and you have to get through quickly without getting crushed using a variety of your full form and those two, uncooperative embers. And though this was a nice change of pace…it wasn’t long before even this little diversion wore out its welcome. Towards the end, you could also interact with these mushrooms, which would either create a temporary platform if you used your light ember on it or would bounce you higher if you used your dark ember.
Obviously, I can’t judge the full game based on the demo alone, but considering how frustrated I felt by the end (about 40-50 minutes), it’s a good bet this game isn’t for me. Having to control two characters simultaneously is definitely an interesting idea, and maybe by the end, I would have gotten the hang of using both analog sticks at once. We’ll never know, though, as this is one demo I am relieved is over.
This post was originally published on The Duck of Indeed on September 27, 2021.