Gameplay 9
Graphics 9
Sound 9

Aaero is a rhythm shooter that sees players flying through stylized environments while blasting enemies to the beat of electronic music. It is a very challenging and unforgiving game, but also very addictive, and depending on your musical taste has a great soundtrack. The lack of support for things like Steam Workshop and custom songs limits the replay value a bit, but mastering all the songs should keep most players busy for ages.

Gameplay: Challenging, intense, and very addictive.

Graphics: Beautiful and varied.

Sound: Features a great electronic music soundtrack

Summary 9.0 Outstanding
Gameplay 0
Graphics 0
Sound 0
Summary rating from user's marks. You can set own marks for this article - just click on stars above and press "Accept".
Summary 0.0 Terrible


Developer: Mad Fellows | Publisher: Mad Fellows | Release Date: 2017 | Genre: Action / Rhythm Shooter / Indie | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Steam

Few genres can come as close to the perfect combination of beautiful visuals, great music, and intuitive controls as rhythm games provided everything is done right. Mess up just one of these elements and, the whole experience suffers as a result. There are plenty of games that have tried and failed to merge rhythm action with shooting, so let’s see what Aaero has to offer.

Aaero is a rhythm shooter by a small indie studio called Mad Fellows and only their second release after a mobile game called SineWave. The game doesn’t even pretend to have any type of storyline and instead presents players with a tutorial on how to play. We highly recommend checking out this tutorial at least once as there is more to the game than what meets the eye and, some elements can be frustrating without knowing exactly what is expected from you. The basic idea is very simple, though, and the gameplay is split into two distinct components. The first is the ribbons of light that spiral through the many tunnels found in the game. Players have to trace these ribbons with their ship as it twists and turns around based on the vocals or synthesizer sounds of the music track. Staying as close to the ribbon as possible increases your score multiplier and makes the music sound better. You’ll also see pretty sparks fly off your ship and feel a pleasing rumble from your controller to encourage you to stay on track.

The second component is the shooting and, while it might not be immediately obvious, this is also reliant on the music. You have to move your targeting reticule over enemy ships to lock on to them before pressing the trigger button to unleash your firepower. The catch is that you can only lock on to eight targets at a time and your bullets only hit on the beat. What this means is that if you press fire too early, your ship will shoot out missiles that leisurely travel towards their targets before exploding. Time it better and you’ll shoot lasers that instantly destroy the targets. You’ll definitely want to aim for the latter as much as possible as it not only rewards you with more points but also means your ship will reload faster. This is not such a big deal on the default difficulty, but once you move up to Advanced and Master modes every second count.

Speaking of the difficulty settings, on “Normal” mode the shooting and ribbon following sections are typically kept separate. However, on the higher difficulties, you’ll find that more enemies pop up in the tunnels while you are trying to follow the ribbon, which naturally makes the whole experience a lot more challenging. You only get three lives per level and there is no way to replenish these. Also, losing a life resets your multiplier, which means a lower score. Even worse, you’ll earn fewer stars for completing a level and these stars are essential for unlocking new tracks as well as higher difficulties. If all this sounds overwhelming it is because it can be at first, but once you get the hang of the game it’s a lot of fun.

Although Aaero wasn’t created by a big team it still manages to impress with its stylized visuals. The game features unique environments for each of its 15 tracks and they are all packed with enemies as well as other hazards. Between the glowing ribbons and swarms of enemies the screen can get very busy, so it’s a good thing that the art direction favors a colorful yet minimalist style. It’s still easy to lose track of enemy bullets in all the chaos, but usually, there are other visual and audio warnings to alert players to imminent danger. The action is viewed from a third-person perspective with the camera set behind the players’ ship as it flies into the screen. Along with impressive set pieces such as structures crumbling around you, the game also has three huge bosses that include a giant Dune-inspired sandworm and a massive robotic spider. Unfortunately, there is only one ship on offer with three others available as DLC. The game also doesn’t have a lot to offer in terms of graphical options apart from setting the resolution and enabling Vsync.

Audio obviously plays a huge role in rhythm games, so it’s great to hear that Aaero features a stellar soundtrack. The game includes 15 licensed songs from the likes of Flux Pavilion, Neosignal, The Prototypes, Noisia, Katy B, and more. The soundtrack is skewed very much towards electronic music, so your enjoyment will depend very much on your personal taste. We really enjoyed it and the songs all lend themselves very well towards this style of rhythm shooter. Two additional DLC packs are also available, each with three new songs. Unfortunately, the complete edition that was released for the Nintendo Switch featuring all the DLC and other add-ons is not available on Steam.

The controls for Aaero is another element that is going to divide players. The developers have made the choice that the game is only playable using a twin-stick controller, so keyboard and mouse fans are out of luck. The left stick controls the ship while the right stick is used to lock on to targets. The position of your ship and targeting reticule corresponds directly to the position of the analog sticks and both snap back to the center position if released. There’s definitely a learning curve involved and extended playing sessions can play havoc with your wrists due to constantly having to rotate both analog sticks in different directions. Levels tend to be intense from start to finish and there’s rarely time to catch your breath while playing. Things become even more intense when playing on higher difficulty levels as these feature the same songs and levels, but add more enemies to the ribbon sections.

Overall, Aaero is a great game, especially considering the small team behind it. It is incredibly addictive and it is easy to end up playing deep into the night while trying to improve your score on the online leaderboards. It doesn’t have a whole lot of modes though with only the “Chillout” mode offering a slight break from the intensity of the normal mode. It is also the ideal mode for spotting all the secrets dotted throughout the levels as it doesn’t penalize players for dying. As much fun as Aaero is it would have been nice to see some Steam Workshop support or even the option to import your own music tracks, but unfortunately, these features are not included. Nevertheless, if you like electronic music, trippy visuals, and intense shooting, then Aaero is an essential purchase.

System Requirements

  • OS: Windows 10
  • Processor: Intel Core i3
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVidia GTX 550
  • Storage: 2 GB available space
  • Additional Notes: *A CONTROLLER IS REQUIRED*

Related posts

Kotodama: The 7 Mysteries of Fujisawa

Kotodama: The 7 Mysteries of Fujisawa

Uncover the mysteries of Fujisawa Academy by using your special powers to reveal their secrets in this first development project from PQube. The game is a lot of fun and offers a nice mixture of visual novel, match-3 mini-games and even a sprinkling of ecchi content. The story is gripping from the get go and to uncover all of the secrets you are going to have to pay attention and make the right choices or else you might find yourself back at square one. Although it can become a little repetitive and it is a little too easy to miss some vital story branches, the game is a lot of fun and well worth the effort. Gameplay: The story is interesting and your choices have a big impact on how things play out. Graphics: Great character designs and some nice Cgs. Sound: Full Japanese voice acting for all the characters.

Beyond Eyes

Beyond Eyes

Beyond Eyes is a beautiful but slow-paced 3rd person adventure about a blind girl searching for a lost cat. Each step of her journey paints the world around her in eye-catching watercolor pastels. Still, interactions with the environment are limited, and the game is devoid of puzzles or challenges. Nevertheless, if you are patient and can appreciate a game that is more about the experience than the challenge, then Beyond Eyes is worth a playthrough. Gameplay: Slow-paced and easy, but also very unique and compelling. Graphics: Beautiful watercolor visuals make Beyond Eyes truly look like a fairy-tale novel. Sound: Very minimal, but the haunting soundtrack is quite beautiful.

Caladrius Blaze

Caladrius Blaze

Take to the skies as one of eight different characters and blast your enemies to bits in this vertically scrolling shooter. It is a little heavy on fan service and the visuals have not aged as well as we would have liked, but in terms of gameplay, Caladrius Blaze is still a very solid shooter. It has got plenty of modes as well as an adjustable challenge that makes it accessible to players of all skill levels. The game does have a couple of issues, so make sure you know about these before purchasing. Gameplay: As challenging as you want it to be and quite addictive to boot. Graphics: Nice character designs and plenty of fan service, but the 3D textures really show their age. Sound: Japanese voice overs as well as some nice background tunes.

The Old City: Leviathan

The Old City: Leviathan

With a game such as The Old City: Leviathan where the story is such an important focus it can be hard to explain why it is worth experiencing without spoiling any surprises. The visuals are certainly very pretty and the audio very good, but by the developers own admission, everything is secondary to the story. The lack of interaction with the gameworld means that some players will dismiss this title as a “walking simulator”, but anyone that can appreciate the immersive experience instead of trying to compare it to something else will find a lot to love about it. Gameplay: Plenty of exploring to do, but the focus is squarely on the intriguing story. Graphics: The Unreal engine is put to good use to display some detailed environments. Sound: Quality voice acting and a haunting soundtrack that matches the melancholic atmosphere of the game.



Although it might be set during the last days of a dying planet, Eden* is more about the personal struggles of its interesting cast. The story is wonderfully engaging though and definitely doesn’t pull any punches. Coupled with the amazing artwork and wonderful soundtrack this is a must for fans of the genre. Minori has a great track record when it comes to visual novels and Eden* is definitely amongst their finest. Gameplay: It is a kinetic novel, so there is no interaction or branching storyline, but the plot is engaging and heartfelt. Graphics: The visuals are outstanding despite the age of the game and features plenty of cinematic style illustrations. Sound: The Japanese voice actors do a great job and the soundtrack is incredible.

Always The Same Blue Sky…

Always The Same Blue Sky...

Always The Same Blue Sky is a visual novel about a student who transfers to yet another school, in yet another remote location, but this time things are a little different. This is thanks to the presence of Kira, a girl who lives on the island and attends the same school. Life is a little more interesting and mysterious after Kira offers to show the protagonist around the island in this short visual novel. The game has its flaws, but the price tag is low enough to make it a decent impulse buy. Gameplay: Not a lot of choices and the game is quite short, but the story is interesting. Graphics: The sprite artwork is good, but the backgrounds are a little uneven in quality. Sound: No voice acting, but the soundtrack is quite good.

Leave a comment

two × 5 =