- Developer: Aerial Knight
- Publisher: Headup Games
- Release Date: 19/05/2021
- Price: $14.99
Aerial_Knight’s Never Yield
April 14th’s Nintendo Indie World showcase brought with it a title that immediately captured my attention, the snappily titled Aerial_Knight’s Never Yield. I love a good runner. From the frenetic gameplay loop, to the Jedi-like reflexes required, all married together with a soundtrack that doesn’t quit.
So when I saw that a demo would be dropping I thought I’d check it out and report upon my findings. You know, for science!!
Aerial_Knight’s Never Yield is set in what is described as a futuristic Tokyo-styled Detroit. Whatever that means!! Aerial_Knight’s Never Yield adopts a neon hue that in some ways adheres to the nonsensical description of the game’s environment. It certainly feels futuristic, almost Cyberpunk-y, and our protagonist, Wally, fits the bill with a bizarre choice of mouth wear. Is it a mouthguard? A high-tech facemask? I guess only Wally knows the answer to that. Suffice it to say, that’s one more thing I’ll inevitably be thinking about whilst trying to switch off later…
Shoot the runner
The premise of the game is simple, as any good runner should be. Momentum is automatically applied from the outset and you’re flung from left to right, unsurprisingly, at a running speed. Level one acts as a tutorial and introduces you to the games obstacles, as well as how to successfully navigate them.
All inputs are controlled by the D-Pad, which is both blissfully zen and detrimental to the experience in equal measure, but more on that later. The four types of obstacles you’ll face are vault ⬅️, slide ⬇️, jump ⬆️ , and rush ➡️. They’re also colour-coded too, so when obstacles that require a dainty hop (vault) are present, they’ll be yellow. Shawty got low, low, low, low, low, low, low, low that’ll be blue. Jumping high to avoid fences and what not? Said fences will be red. As for what I saw in the demo, only fools rush in, so that was saved for running through glass doors….
It all adds up to a straightforward experience that quickly establishes the foundations for solid muscle memory to take hold, making navigating Aerial_Knight’s Never Yield’s roughly 5-minute levels a sinch to breeze through and, for the most part, enjoy. I did, unfortunately, find that by the end of the demo (three levels and a retro-inspired pixel bonus stage) that the gameplay grew a little stale. Hopefully, the full game will offer some more variety in the obstacle department when it releases on May 19th.
Put your hands up for Detroit
Let’s not beat around the bush though, the real appeal of Aerial_Knight’s Never Yield is its funktastic soundtrack. If you play the demo or decide to pick up the game on release, make sure you check it out with some quality headphones. I popped in my Epos GTW 270 buds and experienced beats that slapped harder than Chris Brown at a Rhianna lookalike convention. Brass instruments mixed with synthetic beats might just be one of the most audibly pleasing things out there. I mean, trumpets elevate everything exponentially, right? Each level I played had a distinct tune that resonated throughout and carried Wally on his adventures through a futuristic Tokyo-styled Detroit.
As I alluded to earlier, the D-Pad inputs are a little frustrating, simply because they accentuate just how poor the D-Pad on the Pro controller is. On the Joy-Con, it’s better, as, well it’s not a D-Pad but four button., However, having to choose between the comfort of the Pro Controller and a poor input device, or the criminally defective Joy-Con seemed like a poor trade off. Now I finally understand how Sophie felt.
Aerial_Knight’s Never Yield is certainly shaping up to be an interesting addition to the Nintendo Switch’s extraordinary array of indie offerings. By the time the game releases on May 19th, with a little TLC, it could be a real feel-good summer title.