Aspire: Ina’s Tale Review- Charm and Beauty

Full Disclosure: First of all, I would absolutely like to thank Untold Tales for the opportunity to review this game with a review code that was provided to me. Having this review code does not change my opinion on the game whatsoever so it would be my exact thoughts on the game had I bought it on my own.

This game was created from the team at Wondernaut Studio, a newer studio that was formed in Early 2020 and they are located in Porto Alegre, Brazil. This was their first game as a brand new studio. The game was published by Untold Tales and the game was developed using the Unity engine. The game releases on Friday, December 17th, 2021 for $12.99. The platforms the game will be launching on are Nintendo Switch, PC, and Xbox. This review was played on the Nintendo Switch OLED system with images captured directly from the system.

Prisoners Of What?

In the game, you play as Ina, a girl that wants to escape a tower she is currently trapped in. This tower will feed off the dreams of its trapped victims; however, one of them wakes up and wants to escape, and that is Ina. In the game, you must learn about Ina’s past and unravel mysteries surrounding her and why she is called the “Heart” of the Tower and why she was captured. In the game, you will also meet other characters that you must help escape situations they find themselves in. You will figure out these different characters stories by finding hidden items. There are cool poems that describe both dark and happy scenes in the game and these areas are very interesting to find and read. Everything in the game that you piece together help create a seriously good and heartfelt story; but this is not directly told to you, there is actually some puzzle with the story that you must solve.

Mysterious Wall Scriptures.

The gameplay is fairly simplistic in all honesty, but this doesn’t mean it’s bad, it just means it is simplistic. Throughout the 3-4 hour experience I had in the game, most of the time I was solving puzzles or solving platforming challenges. The game has many different puzzles including using different powers, called spirits, and using energy to manipulate gates, objects, and more. There are also puzzles that require you to think quickly on your feet as there are enemies in the game that will try to kill you and a big boss at the end of the game that seriously makes you think about every move you make as it is fairly difficult in parts and was a nice surprise to see that. It is a 2D based game, but does that mean it is bad; absolutely not and some 2D games are seriously just as good, if not better than some big 3D AAA games that may cost 5 times more.

Who Is That?

Okay, the gameplay may in fact be simplistic for the most part and the story may not be the most straightforward to understand, but there are so many different things that this game does even better than a lot of other things I have played this year. One of these things is the absolutely stunning soundtrack in the game. I literally put the game on just let it run for a few minutes to listen to the sounds throughout the game. In the game, the music is so enthralling and just so captivating that I forgot I was even playing something. The music is not the only thing that is captivating throughout. The art and visuals in the game are stunningly beautiful and tranquil while also being dark and mysterious and it makes the experience even better as a whole package. I played the game 70% in the dock mode, and then 30% in portable mode, and the OLED makes the game look even better than it does already, and that shocked me because of how good it looked without the OLED screen.

So Much Beauty.

Is the game perfect? No, it isn’t. There was a few bugs that I found throughout the game but they weren’t big enough to make me stop playing. There are checkpoints that are actually fairly close together. and every time you reach one the game autosaves, so even if something did happen, you aren’t going to lose much progress at all. I think I had two times where there was a bug, but they were seriously not that bad and I only lost like 4 minutes total between these two bugs. I did have a couple of frame rate dips that made the game slow down a little bit but it really wasn’t that bad since it is more of a slower paced game. Overall though, the game is definately polished and I am super happy with this whole package that was presented to me.

Chapter Selection Screen

The music and art is fantastic, the gameplay is simplistic but has great puzzles that offer a challenge, and the story being told the way it is with all of the little hints that need to be pieced together. Is the game worth the cost for only being a 3-4 hour experience? The game is absolutely worth the price of admission. If you played GRIS and loved that game, then this game will feel similar to it but with its own story, feel, and twists. I had this game on my radar and I am seriously grateful that I was given the opportunity to have a review out for this game and that I got to play it. I played a different game that Untold Tales published earlier this year, Golf Club Wasteland developed by Demagog Studio, and both of these games has impressed me so much that I am absolutely keeping my eye on their adventures that are coming out in the future.

Loading The Checkpoint.

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