For this review we’re taking a look at a game that utilizes hugs and kisses as a scoring mechanic, but don’t worry, it’s not a cuddly Wii game.
If you’re so extreme that you drink Pepsi Max and have music that goes all the way up to 11, then jumping off a very tall building may very well be the next step for you.
Virtually, of course.
Aaaaa! has its focus firmly set on gameplay, providing a heart-pumping adrenaline rush of a game. Similar in many ways to titles like the Burnout series, completion is merely the path of least resistance; for the full challenge lies in earning five stars, which you achieve by getting higher scores and thus are rewarded with more teeth. Yes, you read that right, this game uses teeth as a currency, and yes, that kind of freaked me out too. Was I playing as an extreme sport loving tooth fairy?
The way you achieve the top scores are by connecting a series of “tricks” as you plummet to the ground. Staying close to a building will earn you hugs, whereas a short tap towards it will earn you a kiss, and you can earn more points for a perfect landing in the target area at the bottom of the course.
As you progress through the game, you unlock alternative methods to score more points from flipping off any nearby bystanders to spraying graffiti on the walls of buildings as you zoom past.
There are two prominent regions you call fall through: one of these is the countryside, which will see you gliding mere feet from the ground at times, and darting close to cliff faces at other times. The main setting, however, is a futuristic mega-city, rife with psychedelic lights, floating sky scrapers, flying cars and neon everythings in every nook and cranny of the level.
I hate to repeat myself, but as I mentioned before, the game is a consistent rush. You will find yourself dashing side to side in your seat as your character plummets dangerously close to some obstacle or building; you’ll lean and hold extra tight on the arrow keys as you vainly attempt to maneuver your free fall in the right direction.
With leaderboards and the ever-present desire to 5-star each track, as well as a vast amount of levels to unlock, Aaaaa! contains a whole heap of bang for your buck, or a more appropriate terminology would be a whole heap of dangerous death defying deeds for your dollar.”
The only real flaw of note is the repetition of gameplay; as you unlock all your tricks, each level plays out largely as re-skinned clones of themselves. However, the same could potentially be said about racing games or sports games, and this only becomes an issue if you don’t find the gameplay mechanics enjoyable to begin with.
If you are scared of heights, flashing lights, flying cars or bags full of teeth, this might not be the game for you. For everyone else it is a fantastically addictive game you can’t help but fall for.
Fall for. Get it? I crack myself up.
Aaaaa! never set out to break any graphical innovations, but what it does bring is a vibrant, trippy and overwhelmingly colourful landscape perfect for this game.
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Easy to learn, but a nightmare to master. Aaaaa! has a steep learning curve and will keep you on your toes if you want to get 5-stars.
Sound was clearly not the games focus, but it does nothing wrong and there is some twisted humour thrown in here and there.
Leaderboards, a vast array of levels and the obssesive nature of perfecting your score will keep you jumping off buildings for a long time to come.
Let's face it, Base Jumping is out of the comfort zones for most of us, but Aaaaa! presents a thrill-inducing, skill-testing rush of a game that everyone should try.