Explore dungeons while running a bakery in this charming RPG platformer
Gravity Game Arise has launched a Steam page for the upcoming indie RPG Aeruta. Developed by FromDawn, the 2D side scrolling game combines dungeon exploration with bakery management. Early access is planned for spring 2024, with the game set to be released sometime in fall. Aeruta will be available on PC in English, Chinese, Japanese and Korean. Read on for a first impression of Aeruta based on the recently released demo.
The demo lets you try both the dungeon exploration/platformer elements and the bakery running parts. Immediately noticeable is the cozy charm of Aeruta’s sprites and detailed backgrounds. They are very easy on the eye and have a beautiful illustrated storybook quality to them. Character movements are also smooth, and their expressive actions add emotion to the unvoiced lines.
You play as Chaya, a fox girl and trainee adventurer who stumbles into Dreamy Wheat Plaza with a rumbling stomach. She finds some bread and quickly eats it. However, when she touches the bread oven in the bakery, it spontaneously explodes! She promises to help the owner Effie to successfully reopen the shop by getting ingredients for her bread. The dialogues between Chaya and Effie are gently amusing and add an extra dose of charm to the game.
The dungeon sections play a lot like an old-school 2D platformer. Chaya’s starting weapon is a pink chain whip that she can attack enemies with or even lasso them towards her. The enemies are dough monsters- in the demo these take the form of round, cat-like or crab-like creatures. By attacking them, Chaya can obtain various ingredients needed to make bread back at the bakery.
However, this is where planning a dungeon exploration strategy is likely to become important in the finished game. Upon entering a dungeon, its map is laid out like a board game. You can move Chaya’s fox piece onto different sections of the dungeon to get an idea about what awaits you in each room. It is tempting to enter the areas that offer lots of resources. But to successfully leave each room with all the materials you have grabbed, you must defeat all the enemies in the area. Lose all your health and you will be spirited back to the bakery to rest up- losing an entire in-game day.
When the bakery is open, Chaya must choose what kinds of bread Effie will bake based on the ingredients she has gathered. Then it’s Chaya’s job to keep the shelves stocked with fresh loaves and to serve customers quickly. This part of the game is quite fast paced. Serving customers before they get grumpy involves quickly pressing arrow key combinations followed by the z key. At the same time, you need to keep an eye on your stock as Effie will chew you out (often quite humorously) if you have no bread left on the shelves.
Overall, Aeruta’s demo is pretty polished for a first taste of a game, and it is easy to see how its mechanics could be expanded upon in the upcoming early access version.