Developer: Third Spirit Games
Publisher: RED ART GAMES
Platforms: PS4, Switch, Xbox One, PC
Reviewed On: Switch
Release Date: 20/08/2021
Reviewed By: Keith Lavelle
Review Rush was kindly supplied with a review code.
There is one thing that indie games like and that’s a good Zelda clone, more so the Gameboy advanced games. Here Arietta of Spirits is no different taking inspiration from the Zelda games. But is it any good?
You play as a not so happy Arietta, who is on a family trip. They are going back to her Grandmother’s cabin that has been left unused in the past few years after her passing on. Her mother and father are using this trip as a farewell to her Gran and as a family bonding holiday, to remember the happier times.
Arietta’s mother wants her to go to the apple trees in the forest to collect apples so she can make her mother’s apple crumble. Before leaving on what seems a simple task, her dad hands her a wooden sword to defend herself from the bees. (tbh, I feel this task is not for a kid).
While completing this ‘simple’ task Arietta has vison of sorts that looks like a dream, where she for fills her destiny of becoming a Bound. A person who can be in both the living and dead worlds at once. She also meets her spirit protector, Arco. Who informs Arietta there is a lot of unrest from spirits that do not want to move on and implores her to help them.
The story is an emotional, filled harrowing story, of loss, love and memories. There is a lot of dialog to get through and Arco likes a good monolog here and there. This is one of the slight problems with Arietta of Spirits that the dialog will break the gameplay and action way too much.
As for gameplay, Arietta of Spirits is a great wee top down Zelda-like. With the basic attacks, dodges and power-up like the shield. Unlike Zelda on the Gameboy Advanced, there is a far bigger emphasis on timing. If Arietta’s timing is of it could cause a loss of a heart or a game over.
Luckily, the game saves after every screen transition, so backtracking is not a problem at all. This is especially handy with boss battles. The bosses have a set pattern of attacks they will use. It will be up to Arietta to dodge and attack when there is an opening. If you are not concentrating (more on the latter) these fights can be quite tough.
Arietta of Spirits is a beautifully pixel-art game, with lush world and deep bold colours with contrasting lighter pastel colours. Really giving the Gameboy Advanced feel to the world. I loved some of the boss animations, there was a lot going on and each sprit is animated beautifully.
Arietta of Spirits is a fun and engaging Zelda-like that does enough to stand out next to the dozens of others. With an emphasis on a story.
If you want a somewhat relatable story and challenging battles, I think Arietta of Spirits will be the one for you.