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Aurora: A Child’s Journey Review

Official Score

Overall - 40%


Aurora: A Child’s Journey has a strong message on the dangers of pollution, but the gameplay is far too ordinary to make it worth your while.

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A story that shows the ominous impacts of a huge environmental disaster, Luski Game Studio and Prothos’ Aurora: A Child’s Journey gives a new perspective on our world. Does this tale provide captivating gameplay, or is its message just a little too heavy handed?

Aurora: A Child’s Journey Review

The bright outlook of the protagonist Aurora provides a stark contrast to the polluted world she has made her home. Her fishing village has seen better days, with its lagoons filled with dead fish, murky waters, and waves upon waves of garbage. It’s positively bleak, and its state is based on the real life fishing village of Aurora in São Paulo, Brazil, which was struck by tragedy in a 2015 fire and has yet to recover to this very day.

Aurora does have one thing that can combat this mess: her imagination. By standing near a blue portal, she can transform paper boats into real ones, walk on water, destroy smoke monsters, and even control machinery. This mechanic serves as the bread and butter of the game, playing heavily into its platformer gameplay. Players will be able to jump, grab, and navigate its world with a typical WASD and mouse control scheme as they set out to find out who is accountable for this disaster.

However, it just isn’t enough to hide how ordinary the overall gameplay is. Walking along stilts, moving boxes, and avoiding barrels might sound like extraordinary feats, but things are a bit too bland for their own good. It’s not just the fact that puzzles and platforming are overly easy; it’s just that they feel like chores to do. Even a section where players use their flashlight to ward off an evil monster outside of their boat doesn’t stand out as much as it should. There’s just no sense of imminent danger, leading the platforming to be more routine than anything else.

This is made that much worse with its overall presentation. Even at high settings this game is not a looker, featuring chunky character models and poorly textured environments that would be more at home on the SEGA Dreamcast than a 2021 PC. Despite its underwhelming presentation, Aurora: A Child’s Journey proved to be taxing on one’s computer too; our GPU fans were working overtime to make sure this title even ran in the first place. Put simply, it’s poorly optimized.

Even then, Aurora: A Child’s Journey is overly short. We were able to unlock all four of its achievements and finish the title in around 15 minutes. Though this is a free title, there is nothing to encourage players to come back. All players will have the same experience, for better or for worse.

Aurora: A Child’s Journey has a strong message on the dangers of pollution, but the gameplay is far too ordinary to make it worth your while.

This review of Aurora: A Child’s Journey was done on the PC. The game was freely downloaded.
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Casey Scheld

Casey Scheld has more than 15 years of experience in the gaming industry as a community manager, social media director, event specialist, and (of course) gaming editor. He has previously worked with gaming start-ups like Raptr, publishers like Konami, and roller derby girls at PAX West (check out Jam City Rollergirls)! Gamers Heroes is a passion project for him, giving him a chance to tap into the underground side of gaming. He is all too eager to give these lesser-known heroes of the indie space the attention they so rightly deserve, seeking out the next gem and sharing it with the world. Previously making appearances at events like CES, GDC, and (the late) E3, he is all too happy to seek out the next big thing. For those that want to talk shop, send over a tip, or get an easy win in a fighting game of their choosing, be sure to check out his social media channels below.

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