A long and rambling story, but it’s about video games!

So, I was pretty hyped to check out the Nintendo Direct from a couple of days ago. But before it started, I realized that I’d never watched the previous Indie World Showcase. No big deal, it’s from only a couple of weeks ago…make that nearly two months ago. Damn. Well, anyway, I still had just enough time before the Direct started to learn about all these cool indie games coming to the Switch. Nearly every indie game featured looked very cool, so I was so glad I watched the showcase, but one game shown pretty early peaked my attention. And that game was Aliisha – The Oblivion of Twin Goddesses.

Aliisha – The Oblivion of Twin Goddesses is a puzzle adventure game starring twin sisters who are controlled separately via co-op play. Not only is the game asymmetrical co-op, which is one of my current favorite game genres, but the way you each use the Switch sounds very unique as well. One sister is directly controlled via the Joy-con while the other sister is controlled using touch controls. By working together using your player’s strengths you can hope to proceed through the game. If they pull it off, this sounds like a really good time. I’ll be watching to see how the game is received after it launches.

So, with that mental note filed away, I finished watching the Indie Showcase followed immediately by the new Nintendo Direct. There was mention of certain things being added to the eShop, so I decided to boot up the ol’ Switch to have a browse around. I was specifically looking for the Figment 2 demo, when another game in the demo section caught my eye. And that game was Zorya: The Celestial Sisters.

Zorya: The Celestial Sisters is, get this, an asymmetrical co-op puzzle adventure starring sisters who are controlled separately and who need each other’s special skills to progress! Can you believe it!? But unlike Aliisha, Zorya is already out. And like Hazelight Studios’ games, A Way Out and It Takes Two, the software is freely downloadable and serves as a demo version unless you are playing with someone who has purchased the full game. So, I immediately downloaded this demo!

I took this chance to play through the first five levels with my niece. Please let me tell you a little about our experience. First, the story, or rather the mythology of the game is expertly expressed. Solveig is the goddess of the sun and she represent life and energy. Her sister Aysu is the night goddess, and she represents rest and renewal. Things are well and balanced for many generations but over time the people begin to favor Solveig. You see, rather than celebrating the necessity of the night, the people begin to define nighttime as simply the absence of Solveig. Over generations to go from recognized as essential to being downgraded as immaterial becomes overwhelming for her and Aysu runs away, leaving the world in everlasting but ever diminishing sunlight. This story is so well imagined that I wonder if it is directly born from a real-world mythology of some kind.

Eventually Aysu comes back to her sister to find the world essentially in an ice age and here is where the game starts. The player controlling Solveig has an overhead view of the stage and controls the sun’s placement in the sky, thereby also controlling the casting of the shadows in the world (interesting shadow mechanics in video games are another favorite of mine!). The player controlling Aysu has a more traditional behind the character 3D view, but she can only travel in the shade. A moment in the sunlight will mean starting the stage anew. With Solvieg’s help, she’ll be able to make her way to the exit point, while staying in ever shifting shadows, all the while avoiding guards who’ll try to push her into the daylight.

My niece and I had a lot of fun figuring out what to do in the first five stages. This is very much my kind of game, and I had never even heard of it! There are just so many games being released now. I just happened to get lucky enough to discover it. I didn’t fully purchase it yet, but I quickly added it to my wish list so I’m ready at a better time.

So that’s my story of random discoveries. If you like some of the same kinds of games that I do, here’s Zorya‘s official site if you want to check it out. It seems to have cross play between the Switch, Epic Game Store, and Steam version, so if my description of the game seemed at all interesting to you, I ask that you check it out. And keep an eye out for Aliisha, scheduled to release sometime in the spring. Aliisha seems like it will be a Switch exclusive.

That’s all for now, thanks for stopping by!

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