Arise: A Simple Story is a beautiful and moving game that starts at the end. The game opens to the lighting of a funeral pyre as our character’s journey moves from this life to the next. Momentarily, you wonder what will happen next and then you awake in a snow-filled world with a light beckoning from a distance.
Arise is a level based game, where each level represents a time and memory in our character’s life. Bright and beautiful during times of happiness and curiosity, dark and cold during sadness and desperation. These scenes, along with an incredible soundtrack make for an impactful game.
In Arise, we journey with our character and learn more about his life along the way, while solving puzzles to progress. Most puzzles are solved with a time stop ability, where you can progress forward or backward in time to change the environment. This could mean you catch a ride on a bee as it zooms past, or maybe avoid a boulder falling down a rockface. It’s an interesting mechanic which varies enough throughout the game, as to not become overdone.
While the time stop ability was fun to use and made for enjoyable puzzles, the platforming was sometimes frustrating. I accidentally jumped to my death multiple times because I misjudged the direction needed. This didn’t diminish the experience of Arise, though. I just had more untimely deaths than I expected.
The story and beauty of Arise really hooked me in. It’s one of those games where you want to keep playing to see what happens next. I needed to know what happened to our character! I also took many screenshots of the incredible landscapes, which is no mean feat in an Epic game (screenshot button, when?), but worthwhile all the same.
Arise is a story of life, love and loss and a game worth playing. I’d recommend it for anyone who loves a narrative rich story with lots of heart.
If you’re interested in other narrative rich games, with no combat, make sure to check out My favourite combat free games of 2019.