Arise: A Simple Story – Demo Review

Arise: A Simple Story is a casual puzzle game about losing the love of one’s life.  The game begins with the death of your own character, and as the demo progresses, you find these statues that seem to be telling the story of how the protagonist and his future wife grew up together.  Gameplay involves manipulating time to change your environment, such as melting the snow to raise and lower the ocean level, moving around giant bugs upon which you can ride, or tilting the flowers as they follow the sun across the sky.

The demo includes two levels, a shorter one where you change the water level to proceed and a longer one where you’re tiny and must navigate across giant flowers and mushrooms and use the bees and snails to your advantage.  I must admit that the puzzles were pretty easy and largely required you to merely go back and forth through time until your path opens up.  Nevertheless, this was done in such a way that just the simple act of watching the environment change around you was a rather beautiful sight.

Yeehaw, lasso that bee!

As such, Arise seems more like a casual experience that you’re going to want to play more for the relaxation value than an actual challenge.  It’s also sure to be an emotional story that begins when the protagonist was just a young boy.  It’s one of those stories where you probably know where it’s going, but I’m still interested in experiencing it for myself just to see how exactly it plays out.

My only complaints stem from the fact that you have minimal control over the camera angle, and some of the platforming was a bit frustrating.  I had a small issue with jumping in the correct direction while climbing, but the biggest problem arose when I was attempting to traverse the spider webs towards the end of the demo.  Bouncing across them was quite finicky, and I really struggled with jumping high enough to reach the higher ledges.

Video from YouTube User: Virtual Bastion

Despite these minor issues, I really enjoyed the demo for Arise: A Simple Story.  Although the gameplay and puzzling were pretty easy, the presentation is what really did it for me.  Just watching the environment transform around me was quite a joy to behold, and I have, in fact, already bought the full game.  In case you’re also interested in trying this game for yourself, Arise: A Simple Story is available on all major consoles and PC for $19.99.  At a length of just 4-6 hours, however, you’ll surely want to get this one on sale for $4.99 like I did.

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