Growing up I was lucky to see the true evolution of video games. While some things have changed drastically, many games still hold a special place in my memories. One of those games is the classic puzzle-solving game Myst; which was a major influence on the creators of the game I had the privilege of reviewing. Since those, may I say simpler days, video games have evolved beyond what we could have ever imagined at that time. Today, I am here to talk about a game that takes me back to those memorable experiences and uses my brain to solve the mystery that is, The Eyes of Ara, by 100 Stones Interactive.
The game starts off with you alone on an island, standing outside a long-abandoned castle. You make your way into the castle and the mystery begins. A smile came to my face several times as I drew parallels to classic games of the sort, while thoroughly enjoying the aspects of what modern gaming can achieve. The Eyes of Ara does a stellar job at keeping you engaged throughout the experience and I highly suggest that you don’t put it down until you’ve gotten past the first part. Once the game opens up, you are able to enjoy it for what it truly is. The puzzles are challenging, yet rewarding, and you never feel as though you could get stuck. This is greatly appreciated as it makes the entire experience that much smoother. You also do not feel “lost” even when you have a bunch of things to do on your plate. Sometimes this can be a negative effect on a game, I know that from my experiences playing MYST that sometimes you weren’t sure what to do next. The Eyes of Ara does a good job keeping you on track while at the same time allowing for exploration.
The controls of the game are good to ok. They do require a bit of adjustment if at first they don’t work for you. The option is there to invert them, so figure out what works best. My suggestion is stay with the default. The way the control scheme works, combined with the (single) Joy-Con controller, can be a little tough at first. I appreciated the motion controls in this game, but at times they can be a bit cumbersome due to you having to spin around at times to see your environment. Another suggestion is to use the joystick to look around. This is a great game on ‘the go’ if you’re a mobile gamer. When you are in handheld mode you make use of the touchscreen, so it makes it a bit easier. This is one of my favorite features of the Switch and I love that games have adapted to the system.
Overall The Eyes of Ara is a welcome entry in the world of problem-solving, puzzle mysteries. The environments are meticulously designed and it shows how much passion went into creating the world the game takes place in. In a society where shooting other people is a preferred way of gaming, The Eyes of Ara reminds us that we can still use our brains while playing video games. Check out the game yourself, it’s available now on Nintendo Switch and I have provided all of the information below.
* DFAT was provided a review code for this game