Game: Aerial_Knight’s Never Yield
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and Nintendo Switch
Genre: Side-Scrolling Adventure Game
Developer: Aerial Knight
Publisher: Headup Games
Reviewed on Nintendo Switch
Aerial_Knight’s Never Yield is a Futuristic Detroit Tokyo-Styled 3D Runner where you are trying to escape from the police and avoid obstacles in your way.
This game has a pretty rad art style. The colours pop and are vibrant; it’s sci-fi and futuristic. Its widescreen presentation makes it feel cinematic during gameplay. The cel-shaded aesthetic also helps keep it looking stylish.
The best way to describe the gameplay is sort of like quick-time events. You have four options on the d-pad, up, down, left, right. Each of these correspond to a different action to avoid an obstacle. Up makes you jump, down makes you slide, left makes you vault, and right makes you run forward faster. These directions on the d-pad are colour-coordinated to each of the different types of obstacles. Depending on the difficulty, you will either have time slow to a crawl just before the obstacle in order to react. On harder difficulties, this slowdown time is either reduced or removed entirely. Overall the harder difficulties make the game more enjoyable to me because the time slowdowns are reduced. It’s also a pretty short game, a little over an hour. However, the game has some replayability if you try out all the levels on each difficulty.
There are fourteen different outfits you can collect, including one Nintendo switch themed outfit where your sleeves are the colours of the switches joy-cons. There are 13 levels and a prologue for the introduction to the controls. The levels vary slightly as you progress, starting from a forest in the outskirts of a city to different sections of that city. There’s a variety of obstacles and a couple of boss battles here and there to keep the gameplay a bit fresh so as not to become boring. There are also some perspective changes in a couple of levels that might mess you up at first, but you get used to it pretty quick.
I did not run into any major glitches, just some minor ones where my character would clip through an obstacle sometimes but nothing game-breaking. Performance on Nintendo Switch is good, just a few slowdowns when there are multiple explosions on-screen. The game’s loading times were also okay, nothing super fast but also nothing painfully slow. There’s a cute little pixel art animation of the protagonist running during loading screens, and I liked that.
No major spoilers for the story because, in all honesty, I have no clue what this game’s story was even about. All I could understand from the cutscenes was that you are playing as a man running from danger trying to escape from the police. There are cutscenes in-between gameplay that show things happening, but there is no real context to them. Things just happen, and you watch as they play out. A few of the cutscenes are not well animated either, they looked stiff, but that also added a comedic element to them when a character just flops over on their side like a stiff toy. It was quite hilarious.
The soundtrack overall was my favourite part of the game. I was tapping my foot to the beats as I was playing. It was almost distracting. A couple of tracks were stuck in my head after playing, and I really enjoyed it. I can see myself coming back to the game for the music, maybe not so much the gameplay. Speaking of audio, there is no way to adjust the audio balance of sound effects and music. There is just an option to mute the entire game’s audio when you pause inside a level, no option to do this in the main menu.
For a single developer-made indie game, I’d say they did a pretty good job. The art style, soundtrack were my favourite parts of the game. The gameplay is fine but maybe not quite my cup of tea. If it looks interesting to you, then go for it.