An adventure platformer enjoying more than a moment in the sun
As protagonist Rei skates through acidtoned environments between colossal boss Ľjkwv/#wkh#vshhguxqqlqj#frppxqlw|#lv# never far from our mind. There’s a breeziness to gliding across Solar Ash’s deep space forxgv#wkdw#lv#mr|ixo#Ğ#dqg#pdnhv#xv#zrqghu#krz# runners will get the most out of the movement.
There’s much more to developer Heart Machine’s second game than the joy of traversal, though. Between Rei needling colossal bosses and exploring strange ruins, there are other signs of life to discover, and people to meet. Particularly memorable among these NPCs is someone who talks about maintaining a connection with ‘The Elders’ and mind-melding with their mycelium collective.
“That’s Ahrric,” director Alx Preston tells us. “He’s a bit of a weirdo.”
We stop ourselves from quipping that he seems like a real fun-guy to us.
VOID RUNNING FOR GLORY
Rei seeks an audience with Ahrric’s mouldering elders as she’s hoping they know something about the dismembered demigod we keep glimpsing. After felling a spindly limbed boss earlier, Rei found herself in this demigod’s grasp once again. We learn their name is Echo and we are apparently the source of their anger and pain – though Rei appears as confused as to exactly why this should be the case as we are.
As we explore a cellar overrun with toadstools, we have to mix and match glowing, colour-coded spores to gain access to its darker depths. The Elders below then require us to recite a lengthy passphrase known as the Spore Song before they will answer our questions. Now, how did that go again – something about the word ‘crepuscular’…?
Taking you between these puzzle elements and the memorably out-there characters, the ľuid movement really is the heart of the experience. Returning to our earlier point, we ask Alx Preston about his thoughts on speedrunning, and how Solar Ash might appeal to speedrunners. After saying he looks forward to charity event Awesome Games Done Quick every year, he says, “I want to see people break the fuck out of our game. That would be really fun!”
After uncovering Solar Ash’s secrets and learning all about Echo this October, we look forward to seeing what tricks the speedrunning community uncovers in years to come. IMPRESSIONS As Rei jumps into a black hole to save her planet, we’re right there with her. Having seen its breathtaking, acid toned views, its slick movement, and science-fantasy story, we’re keen to dive into Solar Ash.
“WE STOP OURSELVES FROM QUIPPING THAT HE SEEMS LIKE A REAL FUN-GUY TO US.”