Secrets of Raetikon is what Chasing Aurora should've been

A must-watch for fans of exploration games



3:00 PM on 09.03.2013

One of the early Wii U games was a decent if fleeting multiplayer title called Chasing Aurora. Developer Broken Rules has a new game for Windows/Mac/Linux, Secrets of Raetikon, that takes the standout elements -- a gorgeous art direction and engaging aerial movement -- and puts them into a single-player experience centered around exploration. Eff yes.

Players are once again birds, though there's no freeze tag and the like to be found here. From a hub with mysterious "ancient machinery," you'll start flying through a non-linear world collecting pickups that can power these contraptions. There are puzzles, but not in the traditional, rigid sense -- one I encountered involved causing a boulder to crash through a fallen tree that was blocking my path. There's little hand-holding and it's up to you to discover clues.

And if you think "exploration" means "easy," think again. Flying through a winding path of thorns wasn't so bad the first time, but attempting to make it back through while holding onto a key item was nerve-wracking, to say the least. Thank goodness you can take a fair few hits and can find additional health around the world, for that matter.

A full night of rest later, it's only now hitting me how ridiculously good Secrets of Raetikon has the potential to be. The PAX Prime teaser sure has me on board. I can't wait to dig into the full game at my own pace away from the hustle and bustle of a trade-show environment.



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