Belgian Game Spotlight - Ary and the Secret of Seasons
Welcome to a new Belgian Game Spotlight! Last month, we had a look at the black & white comic-book styled Liquid Sunshine but this month we're adding some seasoning with Ary and the Secret of Seasons, made by the Brussels-based studio, Exiin (with some help from the also-Belgian Fishing Cactus)
Ary and the Secret of Seasons is a colourful Action-Adventure with a story centred around Ary, a young girl who sets out to find her lost brother and to restore balance to the world of Valdi. The seasons have gone all topsy-turvy and Ary is the only one capable of getting to the bottom of it.
Before reading on, we advise to check the launch trailer to get a better idea of the story & themes at play:
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Ary is the daughter of the Guardian of Winter, but after losing his son, he's sunk into a depression and now it's up to Ary to find the other guardians, earn their trust and seasonal powers and restore each region of the world to its correct season.
The main mechanic of the game is quite impressive: you'll be able to open a seasonal sphere at any location, changing the properties of the area within. You can turn water into ice, make vines grow on walls, thaw out icy blockades etc.
Obelisks and round stones which you'll find in temples and other locations will enlarge the area of effect of Ary's spheres and later on in the game, you'll even be able to fire them off with your slingshot to help solve puzzles.
The game wears its Zelda-like influences on its sleeve and it's when you're navigating the hazardous environments and solving mindbending puzzles that it really shines brightest.
There is plenty to be done in the world of Valdi, with sidequests that help out the local inhabitants, optional collectables that will push your platforming skills to the limit and secrets hidden in every nook and cranny.
While the game shows a lot of promise and it's certainly boxing above its weight class in certain regards, we do want to issue a warning for anyone looking to pick it up today: there are a fair amount of bugs present in the current release. (at the time of writing) But there are multiple patches underway for all platforms and there might even be some content changes down the line to further streamline the experience.
If this small taste of the game has given you an appetite for more, make sure to support the developer through a purchase. Ary and the Secret of Seasons is available on all platforms: PC, Xbox, Playstation and Nintendo Switch (you can even find a physical copy of it in certain stores).
Want to keep up-to-date on the game and the studio? Here are a few places you can follow them:
We hope you've enjoyed this feature article and if you're a Belgian game developer yourself, don't be afraid to reach out and maybe we'll spotlight your game next month!