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Review: Ayo: A Rain Tale (iOS)By ringlord71 At 06.04.2019 13:01

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The young hero of the story, Ayo must head out on a perilous journey across the sub-Saharan desert to fetch some water for her family, during a long drought. A child and alone, the titular character will encounter all sorts of enemies, obstacles and challenges along the way, with which she can use her newfound skills to overcome each adversary. For mobile devices, this is a multi-touch title, with a control-pad displayed on the screen, as well as some action buttons. From the beginning, the only button available is the jump one - as the platforming elements begin quite simply. Ayo can either run to the left or the right of the horizontally-scrolling screen, with climbable terrain and platforms to jump across.

Everything works as well as it should for a mobile game; though the main knockback discovered was that sometimes the controls would "drop out" even though the thumb and fingers were still on the screen. There would be crucial jumps that would cause Ayo to fall to her death because the game didn't recognise a button prompt "properly," or in one endless-running sequence Ayo would just stop running, as if the finger causing her to move had lifted from the screen, even though it hadn't. Fortunately, Ayo is extremely forgiving with its checkpoint system, with many of them placed through a stage. This is particularly useful for those who have trouble with platforming games; but don't wish to constantly have to repeat the entire stage up to that point again.

Along the way, Ayo will encounter some magical entities, which in turn will gift her with some new skills as the stages begin to get harder. Soon, the jumping ability becomes a double-jump, while Ayo also learns to manipulate differing platforms on a two-colour scale. Like Hue, a game that was all about setting up different platforming terrains depending on which colour was "active," this also provides similar mechanics when this ability gets introduced.

Ayo: A Rain Tale comes in at just under five hours of play, and it isn't a particularly difficult journey. However, it seems this is meant to be an experience; a painful and emotional journey for Ayo - made even more painful with the final level of the game, which was so wonderfully done. This desert journey also seems to draw some inspiration from Never Alone, in terms of the gritty and eerie atmosphere, complete with the sandstorm sequences that slows the young protagonist down.

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[i]Ayo: A Rain Tale[/i] is a simple platformer that tries to showcase the hardships that are constantly faced every day in the sub-Saharan desert. While this shows that more in a wondrous format, with mystical entities who grant her new abilities to overcome the increasing difficulty of the terrain and enemies, the atmosphere still does enough to bring the pain to the screen. This is a short journey that can be completed in less than five hours, and it features enough fun in it for the game to not overstay it's welcome, though don't expect a tough experience to challenge the brain.



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