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Aeon Drive Switch Review – Gone in 30 Seconds

Aeon Drive Switch Review – Gone in 30 Seconds

aeon drive

We have been looking forward to Aeon Drive for a while now, and this action platformer with a twist is bound to challenge and entertain. Not only do we have a sweet sentient knife that lets us teleport short distances, but we only have 30 seconds to clear each level. That means speed and precision are key!

So does this exciting new indie game from Critical Reflex and 2Awesome Studio hold up in the end? Or is this yet another platformer? Let’s find out!

aeon drive

You play as Jackelyne, a young space ranger from another dimension, and she is desperately trying to get home. However, she crash-lands her spaceship into the middle of a bustling metropolis called Neo Barcelona. Equipped with her power sword, teleportation dagger, and unique skill to control time, Jackelyne has to find all the Drive Cores to fix her ship so she can go home, as well as save the city from an apparent impending doom. 

This is a simple and effective narrative to make sense of what is happening on screen. Jackelyne is a fun character, and her dagger has a great little personality as well. The banter between the two of them is really fun, although Jackelyne does start to repeat the same lines over and over again after a while.

It is nice that Aeon Drive gives proper attention to its protagonist and even takes the time to develop her character and gives you reason to care about her. Like I said, this is a very simple story, but it gives Jackelyne purpose and drive, which caused me to see her through these missions.

What makes Aeon Drive special is its combination of two interesting ideas: Your dagger can teleport you short distances and you only have 30 seconds to finish each level. Outside of that, this is your standard action platformer. You can jump, wall jump, attack, and slide on top of the ability to teleport through tight areas and energy fields. Jackelyne can also use collected containers to slow time and give her more of it to get to the exit.

As you progress through the game, levels begin to throw new obstacles and trials your way to mix things up. Outside of the tutorial level, there are 10 sectors with 10 stages each, meaning you have a solid 100 levels to play in Aeon Drive. Each sector is a different color palette and has its own things to challenge Jackelyne’s platforming skills.

If you are a solid platforming fan, Aeon Drive will not take you very long to blaze through. Since levels have 30-second time limits, getting through most of them in less time is no problem at all. That does not mean this is not a fun experience, because it absolutely is. I am just pointing out that you may not be getting a large amount of bang-for-your-buck with this one if you are a skilled player.

Thankfully, though, Aeon Drive does supply some extra challenge for those looking for it. Each stage has hidden items that are normally quite difficult to get, and figuring out how to retrieve them all and get to the exit in the 30-second limit is a lot of fun and a huge reason to come back to previously cleared levels.

The leaderboard is also a strong reason to come back and compete with others around the world. Even in my time playing the game for review, there were some other reviewers that were putting up insanely quick times that inspired me to try out new paths to cut some of my slowness. Since the game has numerous branching paths in each level, mostly to hide all of the collectibles, learning the fastest routes takes some fun trial-and-erroring, and this is where Aeon Drive shines most.

The title looks amazing with wonderful layered pixel graphics and stunning colors that just make the world and everything within it pop. Not only that, but the voice acting and soundtrack are really good and keep things entertaining pretty much from start to finish.

aeon drive

An awesome feature I was not expecting at all is multiplayer. Up to four players can locally play through the campaign together, and there is even a competitive mode where you race against each other to lap around the stage. Both modes are incredibly fun and offer an insane amount of replay value, especially for fans of couch co-op.

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When playing the campaign together, the camera is tight as if you are playing alone. However, in the competitive mode, the camera is zoomed all the way out in order for everyone to see the whole map, and this does make things a bit harder to see, especially in handheld mode.

The only issue I faced while playing was the left joystick sensitivity. On quite a few occasions, and tested on multiple controllers, Jackelyne would make quick turns the opposite direction after I held one for a period of time. Basically, coming to sudden stops and the joystick reverting to neutral position again occasionally caused Jackelyne to turn around without prompting. Because of this, I frequently reverted to the D-pad, which is not ideal, as it is not the best at throwing the teleportation dagger at perfect angles, but at least it solved my little issue.

aeon drive

Aeon Drive is a solid action platformer set at a really good price. The single player, if you don’t care about collectibles, will be a quick ride, but the multiplayer adds so much more fun and replayability to the title.

Ultimately, how long you enjoy the game solely depends on how you are entertained with such titles. But if you enjoy precision platforming, strong leaderboards, getting all the collectibles, and local multiplayer, this is a full package and one you could be playing for years.

Aeon Drive Review provided by Nintendo Link
Publisher: Critical Reflex
Developer: 2Awesome Studio
Release Date: September 30, 2021
Price: $14.99£10.99€14,99
Game Size: 474MB

aeon drive

Great action platformer

Fun mechanics

Local multiplayer

Beautiful pixel graphics


Campaign is a bit on the short side

Left joystick issues on occasion

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