Aura of Worlds is the video game imagining of the hero’s journey through spacetime to stop worlds from colliding. Use portals to venture into pixellated parallel universes and seek to reverse the events that tore the fabric of spacetime apart. To do this, you will have to find pieces of an ancient artifact. Aura of Worlds is the creation of Melbourne-based Game Development Studio, Cognitive Forge. The team at Cognitive Forge aim to create games that challenge the player to think, and that is precisely what they have achieved with this title.
This game features over 70 unique enemies and multiple levels, each with their own dynamics. Enemies can include (but are not limited to) moths, skeletons and squishy things that you can jump on. The eight bit graphics are not very, er, graphic so it is up to the player to decide that these squishy things are. I assume they are animated bubble gum. Aside from sentient enemies, players must also do battle with their environment. Some of these elements are more traditional, such as poisoned darts, but others are more unconventional. I have been attacked by many things in my virtual lives but never by a flying vase. That is, until I played Aura of Worlds.
The aim of most levels is to find the exit but how you do that without dying varies greatly. Sometimes, you need to complete a speed run. Other times, you need to outsmart the booby traps. The levels increase in difficulty, so just as the player has learned how to overcome one obstacle, it levels up into a more difficult obstacle. These diverse dynamics also mean that there are new and exciting ways to complete each level. Exploring each level thoroughly is good for three reasons. Firstly, it will help you understand and overcome the nature of each environment. Secondly, the premise of the game is to find all the pieces of the ancient artifact Thirdly, exploration is essential for restocking your inventory. And speaking of inventory, let’s discuss your inventory.
Throughout the journey, players gain new items and abilities such as the standard sword and shield but also some other more unusual talents such as ‘blinking’ (this is where you teleport from one place to another, not where you open and close your eyes quickly). There is no, one correct way to complete each level, so each gamer can chose for themselves how to defeat each enemy and overcome each level. Personally, I prefer to charge until I can see the whites of my enemy’s eyes and then engage berserker mode until none stand before me. Anything that cannot be hacked to pieces can be passed via dive roll. Others may prefer a more calculated approach where they ‘blink’ from A to B and jump on squishy bubble gum to leap over animated skeletons. Each to their own.
Aura of Worlds is available now via Steam and Itch. The Cognitive Forge team will also be at PAX Australia between 26-28 October 2018 so feel free to drop by and try your hand at outsmarting death. Gamers Classified will also be speaking to the team at #PAXAUS so be sure to check back shortly for more information.