30 seconds to complete each level. An ability to teleport without restrictions. Only one life and an unlimited number of attempts. That’s Aeon Drive — and if that pitch doesn’t sound thrilling to you, we honestly don’t know what would.
Aeon Drive is an action platformer with a speedrunning twist, brought to you by 2Awesome Studio and Critical Reflex.
You will be playing as Jackelyne — a space ranger from another dimension. She was trying to get home, when her ship crashed on an unknown planet in the city of Neo Barcelona. If she won’t be able to fix her spacecraft on time, the city will be doomed.
The challenge seems impossible at face value — the city streets are dangerous and hard to navigate, and Jackelyne has mere seconds to get to her destination. But luckily, there are a lot of tricks in her sleeve — and you’ll have to learn to use all of them to save the city and get Jackelyne home.
Here are some major obstacles that Jackelyne will face on each level of the game — and some tips that will help you overcome those.
Neo Barcelona looks absolutely beautiful, but it’s actually quite a dangerous place. The streets are filled with deadly laser beams, spikes, circular saws, and other traps. Try to get through any of the game’s 100 levels just by running and jumping as you would probably do in a traditional platformer, and you’ll probably be dead even before the timer expires.
Solution: It’s a good thing that one of the main features of Aeon Drive is the ‘Teleportation dagger.’ Jackelyne can throw it in any direction and then immediately teleport to its location with a press of a button. It’s an excellent way to deal with otherwise unavoidable traps, and it is also a much more efficient way to travel than traditional walking. And apart from all that — it’s so satisfying!
Racing against time
If Jackelyne doesn’t make it to the end of the level on time — the run is over, simple as that. That time limit is a big part of what makes Aeon Drive so enjoyable to play, but it is also one of the game’s main challenges. Some levels in the later parts of the game are so vast and complicated, that it may seem impossible to complete them in less than 30 seconds.
Solution: So this is where the second ability of Jackelyne comes into play. She can control time, so if you struggle to keep up with the timer, she could add some extra time to the 30 second limit. But it’s not as simple as it sounds: to get the precious extra seconds, you’ll need to collect time capsules scattered throughout the level and to activate those, well, in time.
Being in danger
Jackelyne only has one hitpoint: every collision with an enemy or a trap is lethal for her. That means that you probably won’t complete any of the levels on the first try — something will definitely get you, or you will run out of time trying to avoid particularly nasty traps or enemies.
Solution: This constant sense of danger makes each run more intense, but it doesn’t make it stressful. All you need is to remember that you have an infinite amount of attempts: all thanks to the time-loop mechanic. The new version of Jackelyne from yet another dimension can start a new run mere moments after the death of her previous iteration.
Dealing with enemies
Neo Barcelona is known not only for its numerous traps but also for the vicious guarding bots patrolling its streets. They are all hostile to Jackelyne and are determined to end her run before she reaches the destination, so she will constantly need to deal with them somehow.
Solution: The most obvious solution to this problem is the Power Sword — Jackelyne’s primary weapon that can incapacitate any robot with just one slice. It is also possible to get rid of a hostile bot by sliding through it or just by stomping on it. But in some cases, brute force won’t be the best approach: these precious seconds spent in a battle could probably cost you the attempt if you run out of time because of that. Sometimes it is wiser to bypass the robot somehow or to run away from it.
Dealing with competition
Let’s say you’ve cleared all of the 100 levels in Aeon Drive, and you are now the absolute master of teleportation. But now there is a new problem: there are new rangers in town, they are faster than you, and they can even teleport as well as you do! Now you need to show them what you’re worth.
Solution: Well, there is no solution to this one, honestly. Aeon Drive is a competitive game — we call it ‘a speedrun platformer’ for a reason, after all. The game keeps track of your results with Leaderboards: you can always compare your performance to the results of other players, and even, even find yourself at the top one day. Or you could just call your friends and compete with them in the co-op and PVP modes to ramp up the challenge.
In Aeon Drive you always have room for improvement: are you really sure that you’ve completed the level in the most efficient way? Maybe you’ve lingered too much at the start? Or was your throw of a teleportation dagger a tiny bit inaccurate? Did you use the most effective path? There is always a reason to try once again and to test new tactics.