Aspire Ina’s Tale review by jeuxvideo.com

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Short platformer inspired by a few models of the genre, Aspire: Ina’s Tale tasks us with delivering a young captive with the atypical look of a Tower made of fantastic structures.

Aspire Ina's Tale: Platforms and contemplation in the footsteps of GRIS

First production by the Brazilians of Wondernaut Studio, a banner freshly founded in 2020, Aspire: Ina’s Tale is one of the heirs of Gray (Nomada Studio). The new experience is hatched by Untold Tales, an equally young publishing company run by a few Techland veterans, lovers of solo adventures. Ina, prisoner of a cursed Tower, begins a journey mixing platforms, reflection and contemplation.


Ina against the Tower

Heroine of our adventure, Ina wears a red braid that probably weighs the weight of her frail body. A precious stone adorns the middle of her white forehead and recalls the patterns of her blue dress. Her look denotes and is immediately fabulous. Ignoring any context, she wakes up from an endless sleep in the middle of debris to find that she is still captive of a cursed Tower. Determined to return to her home in “Kamiura” rather than remain cloistered here, she begins to explore every nook and cranny of the place in search of a way out. A crossing which is carried out in a very linear way, from left to right. Not very serious, as the prison of Ina is a marvelous expanse made of an attractive very angular architecture. The journey is particularly contemplative and diversifies its spectacle for each of the three explored worlds.

The first puzzles are easy; Ina moves her first stone block to reach a high platform, activates her first lever to open a door. Apart from fleeing, she has no other means of defense against her opponents, who are very few in number anyway. The request is brief at first, but becomes much more stimulating when the fugitive reveals her first assets: she manipulates orbs capable of a few powers: light, movement, then enlargement. Three gifts that follow one another before having to combine; enough to pace Ina’s progression to freedom and to provide a certain pinch of difficulty. Because if it did not look like it at first glance, the adventure still sometimes requires a skillful dose of reflection on extremely classic-looking platforms. Perhaps sometimes because the solutions to be found lack a good deal of intuitiveness. A late false step that could also cause a fairly significant setback. A few times blocked by a dead end manipulation, or even a bug, we sometimes force a reappearance at the last checkpoint not without an ounce of frustration. Finally, the journey will sadly only take up an average of two and a half hours of your time, this duration of course depending on your ability to overcome certain obstacles.


musical contemplation

Like what Nomada Studio offered with its touching Gray, the story of Aspire: Ina’s Tale takes a very metaphorical approach. We discover the blossoming of a girl called “the Heart”, launched in search of the “Architect”, creator of the Tower which holds her prisoner. Hurtling down ruined structures, Ina encounters on rare occasions the gigantic remains of mystical knights. She also meets a few allies: the jester and the thief, whose memories can be restored by finding their associated collectibles; a poetic encouragement to replay the levels. Without taking paths that are too nebulous, the stories are interpreted and guessed in an often obvious way. But difficult to fully penetrate the universe of Aspire which, in such a short time, is barely sketched.

Fortunately at every moment of Ina’s journey, there is something even more resounding than her narration, her riddles and her panoramas. The game’s music is particularly fabulous and follows the heroine’s exploits with disconcerting accuracy.. Twenty-six original tracks fill this short adventure, agreeing beautiful nuances to the introduction of a new world. Orchestral melodies, traditional instruments from Asian culture, synthesized sounds: contemplation is as visual as it is auditory. The realization is generous enough to frankly mark. Ina is not really dubbed, but shares with us on a few occasions beautiful bursts of laughter and cries of struggle. And you will be happy to know that his dialogues are translated into French.

Aspire Ina's Tale: Platforms and contemplation in the footsteps of GRIS Aspire Ina's Tale: Platforms and contemplation in the footsteps of GRIS

Conclusion

Points forts

  • An absolutely captivating soundtrack
  • A very contemplative architecture
  • The chara-design of some characters
  • Some clever puzzles

Weak points

  • A very short experience (on average 2h30)
  • Issues that would benefit from sometimes being more intuitive
  • Some bugs, forced rollbacks

Well attached to its inspirations and classic patterns in terms of narration and game design, Aspire: Ina’s Tale offers above all a very beautiful show. The game draws its uniqueness from an absolutely masterful soundtrack and attractive architectures. On the other hand, it sins in its duration, its short story and some levels that are not always well thought out.

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Short platformer inspired by a few models of the genre, Aspire: Ina’s Tale tasks us with delivering a young captive with the atypical look of a Tower made of fantastic structures. First production by the Brazilians of Wondernaut Studio, a banner freshly founded in 2020, Aspire: Ina’s Tale is one…

Short platformer inspired by a few models of the genre, Aspire: Ina’s Tale tasks us with delivering a young captive with the atypical look of a Tower made of fantastic structures. First production by the Brazilians of Wondernaut Studio, a banner freshly founded in 2020, Aspire: Ina’s Tale is one…

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