My Tumblr dash seems to be trying to keep me honest with promising looking indie games and developers to feature here. For the past week, it’s been flooded with a singular post, and after looking at the game’s Kickstarter page, I can see why. Kiro’o Games’s Aurion: Legacy of the Kori-Odan seems to be a jewel in the same respects as Indivisible: an aesthetically beautiful piece of work perfectly complimenting its unique setting and gameplay.
Y’all know that I love Dragon Age and fantasy games, but I’ll be the first to admit that seeing that a fantasy setting is vaguely medieval is kind of like seeing the first snow in that for a brief moment, it’s a shiny, new thing full of possibilities, but soon enough you realize it’s the same old bullshit. Even with JRPGs, it’s gotten to the point where I can usually point at a character and tell you what trope they’re going to embody. However, Aurion steers away from the European stories we’ve heard over and over in favor of something the video game sphere is severely lacking in: an entirely African story. Cameroonian-based Kiro’o Games has set the stage for the epic tale of Enzo Kori-Odan, the king of Zama, and his wife Erine as they battle to regain the throne from her corrupt brother, Ngarba Evou. Personally, I rather like the idea of a married couple working together to reach a goal, especially when it’s a goal to overcome an evil in the land. Not only does this immediately remove the possibility for a tiresome love triangle sub-plot, but it also just feels badass to me—kind of like the Kaidanovskys from Pacific Rim.
Aside from the unique story, Aurion caught my attention with its claim that its gameplay was “partly inspired by the old school Tales of series”. Being a fan of those games myself, I’m intrigued to see how they incorporate these influences into their game design. While they don’t appear to have a playable demo (yet?), from their videos, the gameplay seems to be extremely fluid and immersive, calling on the player to keep tabs on their surroundings while encouraging them to tap into both Enzo’s Aurionic powers (a spiritual sort of power drawn from the ancient ancestors) and Erine’s Aurionite-infused armor and weapons. The combo system looks especially fun to play with; you can swap in and out different items and powers to form new and exciting attack patterns.
For once, I have the pleasure of saying that Aurion has already surpassed their original Kickstarter goal, meaning that this game will get made. However, Kiro’o Games aren’t stopping there. Currently, they’re aiming for a stretch goal of $75,000 to pull in some big names from the gaming sphere—Paul Bertone from Bungie and designer Didier Chanfray—to really make Aurion the polished game it deserves to be. If you’re interested in supporting them, make sure to visit Aurion’s Kickstarter page! Also, follow them on Twitter, Facebook, and/or YouTube to stay up-to-date with development!
Edit: Kiro’o Games was kind enough to link us to a playable demo, which you can find here. You know what to do!