Over the past year Nintendo Switch has had a deluge of indie releases from every type of genre imaginable. All in all, it’s been a good year over on planet Switch, but it’s not over. Just as I was hanging up my Switch for some festive fun, the guys from Mad Fellows ping over a copy of Aaero Complete Edition. Now, if you don’t know Aaero, you best listen up.
Aaero is that game that comes from another planet. It’s an ultra-fast rail music shooter that takes you down claustrophobic tunnels and then spits you out into vast open spaces of desert land. The contrast is epic. But even more epic, Aaero has the most infectious playlist of tunes to accompany you on your journey. Prepare to give those subwoofers a serious workout along with your senses. Put simply, Aaero is the finest indie game on Nintendo Switch.
Aaero is about riding lines of light that burst out of neon-tinged tunnels. These ribbons of light tease you as they duck and drive, twist and turn. Keeping your craft glued to the ribbons keeps the music flowing, increases your score and saves your bacon. The play area is circular, and the ribbons are always around the edge of the screen. Control wise it feels great. The twin sticks excel – one moves the craft and the other lines up your cross hair that homes in on selected enemies. The left stick controls your small craft in a clockwise and anti clockwise direction, and these controls are super sensitive. You can hurl your craft from one side of the screen to another in a second. It’s a nimble mover, and it has to be. These tunnels present a testing path to follow and the outside world with its beautiful barren landscapes are just as intense.
Aaero quickly reveals its next mechanic and that’s the use of the right stick to lock onto enemies. A hit on the trigger releases your firepower and destroys the targeted objects. You can select up to eight targets in one go and give them a good multiple hiding with one quick blast. These flying menaces swarm in front and around you and generally get up your nose. If you take them down to the beat of the music then your score increases. Sound easy? Remember you still need one eye on riding the ribbons of light, which makes Aaero a deceptively hard fight.
Earning stars unlocks levels, plus some scary boss battles to worry about. Every fourth level you’ll encounter a new boss. Did I just enter a slug from behind? Think I did. The twisting tunnels I was racing through have now taken a drastically different form. Looking like something out of Tremors, these huge creatures take a lot of damage to destroy. Levels can last a while, and only having three shields and three chances to succeed can be seen as cruel. It’s a game that demands time and patience to succeed. The creators are well aware of this and have given us Chillout mode. Here you can hone your skills and play every level with infinite lives and enjoy a stress free run.
Played in handheld mode a blast of neon tinged light feels like it’s about to melt your face off, while the thumping beats and keys make sure your ears aren’t left out either. It’s this duel assault that makes Aaero an experience not to be missed.
Aaero Complete Edition comes with all the DLC that was on offer for the PS4 version, except on Switch it’s all included. Here you get the 1000 Days Wasted Drum and Bass Pack, Monstercat Pack, and extra ship skins.
Aaero is an ultra-slick rail music shooter that fits the Switch like a glove. Pure additive gameplay, and a belting soundtrack makes Aaero Complete Edition our Nintendo Switch Indie Game of the Year.
Lizard Rating: 10/10