Game Title: Embers of Mirrim
Developed By: Creative Bytes
Published By: Creative Bytes Studios
Released: December 7, 2017
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Genre: Platformer, Adventure, Puzzles, Action
ESRB Rating: Everyone for Mild Fantasy Violence
Number of Players: 1 Player
Thank you to Creative Bytes for this review copy!
Do you remember the game Entwined for the Sony platform? It was this unique game where you had to rotate both joy sticks at the same time, even in opposite directions to collect orbs. It was beautiful and challenging and reminds me a little bit of Embers of Mirrim. Embers is a unique, one of a kind, platforming, puzzle, adventure game. I have never played anything quite like this.
You start off playing two different kinds of beasts, one white, one black. Eventually the two become one, a mystical creature with the ability to split into light and dark entities called Embers. Mirrim will explore different landscapes as the story unfolds. There is no dialogue, only music, in the cut scenes throughout the game. Using visuals, and gameplay to tell the story is a unique way of communicating. Your job as Mirrim is to stop the corruption from spreading and bring unity back to this world. Mirrim can do a variety of tasks, including jumping, gliding, and a ground attack. By far the most unique ability that Mirrim has, is to split itself into two Embers. Green is light, purple is darkness. You will use the triggers and joy sticks to control Mirrim and split him apart. This creates some very unique gameplay, as it will revolve around you being able to separate into two, and control both, one with your right hand, and one with your left hand. Often one part of the screen will be purple, the other green, and only those Embers can fly in that colored zone. Your time is limited, so you will change back in a matter of seconds unless you hit a metal orb of the matching color or a grid. Each time you hit one you get a few seconds more to be split. The only time you have unlimited time being split, is when you’re in that Ember’s grid. You will mostly make your way through the level, exploring. First you learn that you can split yourself into two to get to higher places. Then you find that you can affect nature or creatures depending on if you hit them with the light side or dark. For instance, a mushroom, if hit by darkness, will shrivel up and will launch you into the air when touched. If you hit it with light, it will shoot out a bar that you can walk on. You will also have puzzles that involve a cannon that can blast you, but only if you are the right Ember. It really does become tricky moving the separate Embers up and down separately with different joy sticks. You will have to become ambidextrous, which is a challenge. The more you practice the easier it gets. It really does create a unique platforming adventure. You will also find glyphs that require you to split to crate some sort of picture. Boss fights utilized the ability to split into Embers and really creates something different. These took practice and eventually I got it down, and it was satisfying.
The universe and lands range from mountains, to forest lands, to wastelands. Each level stands out, as the graphics are beautiful. There are lots of details that just make the environment come alive. The music is powerful too. It fits perfectly with game, and even has moments where it picks up the tempo when your being chased or moments of tranquility as you move through a forest. Most of it is relaxing as you explore each level. The art has a fantasy theme, drawing from 80's movies like, labyrinth and Dark Crystal. There is enough variation where nothing feels boring.
The controls work perfectly, though actually splitting and moving the Embers will take some practice. You will get better as you keep trying. Sometimes there were sections of the game where it was difficult and got stuck and just had to take a break. That is totally okay. Usually when I would return I would get it down quickly. The game runs great on the Switch, with no hiccups or frame rate issues, whether it was docked or in handheld mode.
Embers of Mirrim is a fantastic game. You have never played anything quite like this and offers a unique experience. It stands out in its narrative, characters and unique gameplay. It is a steal for under twenty bucks and recommend you buy it now!
Score: 92% Fantastic