- System: PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC
- Publisher: Modus Games
- Developer: eXiin & Fishing Cactus
- Release Date: 2019 (TBC)
- Genre: Adventure
A hidden gem at E3 2019, in Ary and the Secret of Seasons, we follow Ary, after she becomes the Guardian of Winter and journeys across the great world of Valdi. As one of the four Guardians of Seasons, Ary can manipulate the seasons around her. As Ary, the player must learn to control the seasons and use them to defeat enemies, overcome obstacles, and solve complex puzzles.
About Ary and the Secret of Seasons
After the World of Valdi was saved from an evil mage by the Legendary Warrior, four sages swore to protect the vault in which the evil mage is imprisoned. After something throws off the balance of the seasons in Valdi, Ary decides to help the Guardians of Seasons to put everything back in order. Using her wits and courage, Ary will have to overcome monstrous enemies, secret plots, and stuffy traditions to save Valdi and bring balance to the world once more. And you will be right there with her.
We got to sit down with the development team of Ary and the Secret of Seasons at E3, and while we didn’t get hands-on experience, we got a demo of what one can do and what to expect when the game comes out later this year.
The controls are pretty easy, you can run, sprint, jump, double jump, attack, and of course, control the seasons! The season control is crucial when solving puzzles and reaching items, places, or even bosses. For example, the only way to reach the boss in the level we were on (which was summer), was to make it into winter below so that ice towers would appear that Ary could climb to reach the boss bird. Complex and stunning!
Each season, which Ary controls with her slingshot, has different applications depending on the situation. When firing with the slingshot at a solid object, a bubble will appear in the chosen season—and you can only have 3 bubbles open at once. For example, in a winter world, a Spring shot would make a bubble in which there are blooming flowers and green grass while everything around the bubble is still winter. Knowing when to use them is key to moving around the world, solving puzzles, and battling. You may have to melt something using the power of summer to get through or you may need to form little ice platforms to climb a large obstacle or to get to a boss!
Boss battles are a real challenge in Ary and the Secret of Seasons. The stage we were demoed was indeed a boss stage and there was a large rock at the end of a chain that was hanging from a huge bird. This rock forms a bubble around it which surrounds Ary, the boss and the rock at the center. In order to stay on the boss—which had both summer and winter properties!—, Ary needs to stay within the bubble while attacking, building platforms, and defending herself, all while also keeping in mind what season is necessary at each turn. The battle action flows nicely, adding to the beauty of the experience.
An Enjoyable Stroll Through the Seasons
One thing we loved about Ary and the Secret of Seasons is that there is no decreasing oxygen bubble when you’re underwater and your slingshot is infinite. This allows the player to truly appreciate the beautiful and detailed world that Ary lives in as well as offers enough time to calmly solve puzzles without feeling pressured or stressed by it. Boss battles are a different thing, though, and you will have to look out for your health bar—which you can refill with items you can pick up.
The art and character design are very well done and every detailed and beautiful Asian-inspired environment you find yourself in has 4 versions of it—one for each season! Imagine the work and love that went into that! The environmental puzzles and the ability to manipulate ecosystems depend on this ever-changing quality and, combined with its unique 3D visual style, fluid action, and soundtrack, it is what makes Ary and the Secret of Seasons so enjoyable.
On top of that, Ary is a rebel. She is the first girl to ever become a Guardian and she is here to do the work and teach the elders a thing or two! And just like Ary challenges the preconceptions and traditions of her village, you will be challenged to use all the tools at your disposal to uncover the Secrets of Seasons with her!
Ary and the Secret of Seasons looks like a promising adventure game for those who like to take their time enjoying their surroundings and exploring every little corner of the game world. Of course, it’s not all pretty things and changing seasons, there are challenging puzzles and setups, and don’t forget about enemies and bosses! It’s about 10 to 15 hours of gameplay, though we wouldn’t mind getting lost in there for a little longer… Looking forward to Ary and the Secret of Seasons later this year! Stay tuned and check out all of our E3 coverage!