26 people found this review helpful
Recommended
0.0 hrs last two weeks / 4.1 hrs on record
Posted: Jan 16, 2020 @ 7:02pm
Updated: Jan 16, 2020 @ 7:03pm
Product received for free

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Areia: Pathway to Dawn is an allegorical adventure that is clearly influenced by Journey with some platforming and some puzzles/pathways. There is clearly more to this game if you understand the background context of the game, but this is not necessary to play in any way. The game is fairly short and would take somewhere around 3 hours to complete. I did some backtracking and had some other unexpected time delays and still finished right around the 4-hour mark.

It's an explosion of colors calmed by serene musical tones. The meditative atmosphere is preserved throughout the game. Take from the game whatever you get out of it, and I have a feeling that everyone would get a different feel by the nature that it's completely open to interpretation, especially if you are an ignorant of the context, as I am. All I see is a world in a world in a world. I am taught by this game that the powers of mother nature can be both magnificent and malevolent. I am curious as to what you see.

The controls are going to feel a bit clunky at first and the fact that the game just throws you into the middle of the game world with no instructions or sense of direction only makes it worse. But I got used to the few simple things to do around this game and it felt rather smooth after getting a hang of the rhythm of things.

There are some optional interactable objects in the world and I could not make heads and tails of what they were. I tried to get to as many of them as I could, but other than having the option to sit down and meditate around these small objects or to tap into an old and lingering memory, I could not tell what they did for the game. I assume some of the achievements are attached to accessing all of them. I only got 4/12 achievements upon beating the game.

This game feels incomplete, and the ending felt kind of rushed into a "To Be Continued" screen. So I do hope that the game will see a content expansion at some point to make it feel more whole. There wasn't much gratification from completing the current version of the game.

The platforming-heavy aspect of moving around this rather large world does seem a bit cumbersome as well. Aside from being occasionally stuck at a juncture with a small puzzle-based impasse that doesn't take too long to figure out, it's mostly a jump, jump, and jump some more game.

Overall this is a pretty good game with some flaws. It is short and sweet, though it does have its tedious moments. If you feel like sparing a few dollars on this experience, I would say go ahead. It's on sale at launch during its first week at 15% off base price of $9.99 US.

Controls
Gamepad recommended. Takes a while to get used to the controls.

Graphics
Beautiful atmosphere and vibrant colors. A few different simulated time-of-day and weather patterns to give different lighting conditions throughout the game.

Music & Sounds
Very meditative and calming throughout.

Audience
Probably would please a limited audience who really get into the feel of the game. The puzzles are too easy, the game is too short, there isn't any action, the controls initially feeling clunky are all going to drive some people away.

Pricing
Knowing that it's about 3 hours long, I am not sure how I feel about the base price of $9.99 US. For the experience will be worthwhile to some and not to others.

Conclusion
To me, Areia: Pathway to Dawn is a graphical recreation of the many differing and turbulent states of mind. Taken as a whole, it's rather an experience. While the price might a little high and it has its own flaws, I would still recommend it to my friends as a package of experience.

Overall score 7/10

I received the product for free. I did not receive any compensation to write this review. The opinions represented here are entirely my own and were not influenced in any way.
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9 Comments
YQMaoski Feb 16, 2020 @ 9:20am 
Journey as in the game from 2012, not the band. :D
FruitNDoggie Feb 16, 2020 @ 9:18am 
I can't place the reference by name alone. When you say this game is influenced by Journey, what are you referring to? The song perhaps?
YQMaoski Jan 17, 2020 @ 7:01am 
@marcelo.spiezzi, it was definitely an enjoyable experience and thank you for sending us the curator keys. I understand the struggles to create a big enough, yet still polished, product in trying to meet demands/expectations while still staying within budget. I look forward to any additional content, and if no more, that's okay. Thank you, once again, and good luck with the new release. :cozyspaceengineersc:
YQMaoski Jan 17, 2020 @ 6:58am 
@janner66, I hope you have a good time with it. :D

@Manostion, I did read through all of the reviews and I do like that we have different focus. :D Definitely don't agree with me on all points, haha. That's how we have discussions. (As for the controls, I think it's a limitations of the engine physics that felt a little weird. And the slow-down on walking up-slope and the fact that jumping and moving forward is often faster than walking/running that irks me a bit.)

@Punkster, thank you.

@asirmi, thank you.
marcelo.spiezzi  [developer] Jan 17, 2020 @ 5:34am 
Thanks for the review.

It is really interesting to be able to understand what kind of message players are getting from the game.

I cannot promise anything, but we do expect to add more content to the game in the future. But due to some contract and resources matters, we had to cut some stuff.
We also compromised on having a shorter, but more polished experience, rather than a longer but less polished one.

As I said, I cannot promise anything, but let’s see how the game performs and so we might have a better idea on the matter.
cacrobia Jan 17, 2020 @ 4:32am 
Wow nice review i admire beautiful games
Punkster Jan 17, 2020 @ 4:21am 
This is the greatest review of all time.
Manostion Jan 17, 2020 @ 12:47am 
Great review, thanks!
I love how each of the reviews so far has different angles and highlights different aspects of the game, and while I don't agree with all you said (I didn't experience the controls as feeling clunky, they were very straightforward for me), I do with most of it. Feel free to also check out my review if you haven't. I'll probably take some notes from your review (Audience and Pricing are useful categories indeed), and maybe mine can help you out in a way, too.

IndieGems got itself a new follower either way.

Cheers!
janner66 Jan 16, 2020 @ 9:08pm 
Thanks for the review. I'm going to try and play his one at the weekend.