Aron's Journey in Dreamland
Developed by Meruvia Game Studio
Released on September 11th 2011
Sold on XBLIG for 240 MSP
Review details
Reviewed on October 9th 2011 by Martin Caine
First impressions
The box art for the game pretty clearly displays the style of the game though I found the title text a little hard to read at first. The game is fast to load up and you can quickly get in to the first level. First impressions are generally good and the visual style of the game stand out.
Trial experience
Starting the first level, we're presented with a few popup dialogue boxes informing us of the developer's other games and trial limitations. We then have our first piece of story-telling but I was a little disappointed to see a few spelling mistakes in there.

The platforming engine seems well designed, there are multiple background layers, and the sprites for the level itself are nicely drawn. Aron's movement is nice and smooth but the jumping feels a bit stiff to me (but that's because you end up comparing platformers against other games you've played before). The game definitely reminds me of a number of 16 bit console platformer games.

The first few levels have a nice amount of generic platforming, running and jumping through the trees. At one point the camera would not show me what was below and the standard platforming trick of pressing 'down' to pan the camera down didn't work. Again, that's one of those things I think most platforms should have unless they have an intelligent camera.

The sounds are well designed and the background music does seem to fit with the style of the game.

I died just a short way into the game and started again from the start a few times during the trial before it ended. The hearts for health weren't very obvious at first as if you mis-time a jump you will still kill the ernemies but they also take a heart from you.

The trial doesn't really give you much of an indication of what is to come, and it could just be more of the same platforming.
Overall thoughts
Aron's Journey in Dreamland is a fun little simplistic platformer game with a nice graphic style which reminds me of 16 bit console games.

There are a few minor elements I think could be improved. A few changes to the jumping physics of Aron and a few camera adjustments will make the game feel much smoother. I also think all the text in the game should be reviewed as I noticed a few mistakes right at the start.