Playing as adventurer Ayre, you’re given freedom to explore the world. What’s more, you can do so while riding a dragon. A relaxing low-poly, no-combat adventure. On paper Ayre and the Crystal Comet sounds like it has a lot to offer. However, as you’ll learn in this Ayre and the Crystal Comet review, it’s hard to feel relax with a game which seems determined to frustrate.

Ayre and the Crystal Comet is essentially one huge fetch quest. The game begins as you investigate a large crystal. It speaks to you telepathically, and explains that it’s part of a much larger formation. However, bits have broken off. It’s no surprise then, that you job is to find these bits and return them to the crystal. 400 of them.

Ayre and the Crystal Comet screenshot

There’s an entirely freeform approach to this task. Much like Crackdown‘s ability orbs, they exist on the map at all times. It’s up to you to decide which you will approach, how and when. The same is true of all the other game’s activities. Locating armour pieces, ring races and history shrines. They’re all viewable on approach and become denoted on the map when located. However, exactly how to reach them is up to the player.

Sometimes that’s easier said then done. Not because of some inspired design or genuine brain taxing, but because of frustration at the control system. Ayre is slow and with incredibly stiff navigation. Her dragon is faster and can reach great heights, but will also struggle on land. There were numerous times when during the course of this Ayre and the Crystal Comet we got trapped in near-inescapable geometry at ground level. Either that, or found ourselves on foot in an area the dragon refused to land, no matter how many times we attempted to call it.

The game features a ‘return home’ button in the menu. At first, we imagined this was for once you’d gained a certain amount of the crystals and want to hand them in. However, the more we played the more we suspect that this is in fact a ‘get out of jail free card’.

Ayre and the Crystal Comet screenshot

Ayre and the Crystal Comet is a game you’ll want to love. It promises all the right things and has a charming look to it, too. However, in practice it’s stubborn movement and poor draw distance will have you wondering why you’d bother. While we wouldn’t be against giving solo developer Gordon Little a second chance with a similar title, Ayre and the Crystal Comet is not a game that comes recommended in this review.

Categories: Games