Eron is a difficult 2D platformer that requires precision and coordination. Its pretty nontraditional, because instead of just run and jump buttons, you also have a plane shift button. Shifting planes will make things transparent or bring them back to solid. You can travel through anything transparent including enemies and spheres. Most of the game focuses on your coordination to leap through transparent spheres and pull the left rigger to destroy them. You’re never told this, you just need to figure it out on your own. You need to have precision timing or else the sphere won’t get destroyed and you might fall to your doom. Each of the large spheres needs to get destroyed in order to disable a red electrical field at the end of most levels.
As the levels progress, it introduces small spheres that look like the large spheres, but these are explosive. Lucky for you, shifting planes will keep you safe, but chances are it will make the ground transparent as well. So you’ll need to jump, shift and unshift before you land again. Eron uses this tactic over and over again, but it’ll try to trip you up like having the ground turn translucent when the spheres are not.
Later in the game, there’s an air gust mechanic that will push you up in the air the longer you stay in it. The only problem is that if you fall from too great a height, you’ll die. Its like that in the earlier levels, you’ll need to drop through a platform to land on a sphere, then turn it translucent to destroy it from within again and again.
It all just takes coordination on a 360 controller (or keyboard) having to hold the right trigger to run, left trigger to shift (letting go shifts back) and the A as a jump button. You’ll get a workout. When you start the game, the only thing that you’re told is left to shift, right to run. You’ll always be using the run trigger, because the game has a lot of far jumps. Some jumps are so far that you’ll need to use a sphere jump technique where when you jump through a sphere and destroy it, keep holding the jump button to hurtle yourself even further! I sincerely wish the game told me any of this, but thankfully the developer himself told me or else I wouldn’t have gotten past the third or fourth level.
One of the real missteps to Eron is lack of jump control. If you pull back in mid jump, you’ll fall straight down. Its just odd to see something like that. If you’re caught in one of the wind gusts, you can move left and right freely, until you leave the gust. Then you’re stuck going one direction.
The game looks amazing and we wouldn’t be here if it didn’t. Every few levels the theme changes to offer something new and beautiful to see all while maintaining the same great atmosphere. In terms of music, you’ll hear some fantastic chip tunes reminiscent of something from the late 80s. It sounds fantastic, but hearing these tunes restart over and over with any death makes them get annoying. That’s what Eron boils down to, death after death. You have unlimited lives, which is always great, because you’ll need them. Each death restarts the level and the music.
While the game boasts a story of finding your village burning to the ground, its really just another level. There really is no story, maybe it wasn’t even your village. Its never referenced that its your when you play only outside the game is it ever mentioned. That’s fine I don’t need to have a story in my platformer, but its hilarious when other reviews are covering the story with fifteen minutes of gameplay. You play as a silent protagonist that carries a staff, but never uses it. I’ll assume its for shifting or hiking and not for combat.
In fact the smoke on the village level is a detriment to gameplay. It causes input lag that could easily get remedied if there were graphical or resolution settings, but you won’t find any of that in Eron. There’s not even a menu. You’re just dropped in the game. There’s not even a way to restart the game from the beginning. You’ll just have to keep going with more difficult levels rather than replaying the game. Even getting out of Eron is cryptic. You’ll need to pause the game and hit the back button. You can’t move any sort of cursor to the exit.
One of the strangest glitches I’ve ever found in any video game is an alt + tab glitch where I can leave the game to get into a different program, but when I return the game sends me back a previous level. Its just so strange and something that only I would notice. You can still exit the game and restart it to get back to the level you were at. I also encountered a consistent error that prevented me from shifting. I could still jump and move, but I just couldn’t shift. Death fixed the problem. Neither issue ruined the experience.
With everything said, I did make it far, but without a story (outside of what it says in the storefront) or fun gameplay, I’m just not invested enough to overcome the challenge and finish the game. Eron is such a challenging game that its certainly a feather in the cap for anyone that can beat it. The big problem is not having achievements to acknowledge your hard work and perseverance.
While the game is an uphill challenge so difficult that I can’t consider it fun, as I continued to play, I got more focus and it became easier to play. Perhaps that meant I had gotten used to the controls, but I still failed a lot before I was able to get through each level. The $2 price tag is worth the risk to anyone willing to face Eron’s learning curve and master its controls to see beautiful retro vistas and hear some fantastic music. I’d also like to thank RedSplatGames for giving me a copy of the game.