Switch version tested
Review code provided
AWE is a memory-puzzle game that aims to keep the stress levels low while the challenges build up. Paired with laid back ambient music, this game by Badland Publishing puts you in the seat of a god that must terraform new planets and complete solar systems. Originally released for PC/Mac in 2015, the game finally makes its way to the Nintendo Switch December 2018.
The first thing we noticed is that there are no instructions. Be sure to put away the pro-controller, and utilise only the touchscreen. The objective of each level is to fill the planet with enough colour that the eco-system is complete. To do that, the player must collect the game’s resource, fittingly named AWE, by tapping coloured squares in a prompted order. AWE is then used to purchase a designated asset/colour, which can then be placed on the planet’s surface. Unlock all five assets and place enough of them on the low-poly planet to move on to the next level. Each solar system consists of five planets to colour in.
The game starts off very relaxed, and doesn’t seem to have much of a challenge. However, as the game continues, the player will also have to combat changing seasons, which just mean tiles will automatically change colour as time rolls on. This makes timing crucial in completing the planets. This mechanic eliminates the early Zen of the beginning stages, as most of the level you’ll just have to sit and watch the blocky ball rotate and hope it’ll get around to the spot you need. Sitting and waiting also made the ambient song feel redundant, and it becomes noticeable the lack of diversity in this one note soundtrack.
A Two Beard Gaming recommendation – name your solar systems in a chronological way so you’ll know the difficulty levels when revisiting the game. We named ours Namek, Namek II, Namek III and so forth.
AWE is a fun puzzle game that begs you to keep going just to try out the next challenge. Labelled as a god-like game, you don’t feel very god-like and really won’t care how the planets turn out. With some issues with music and mechanics, this game is worth the low price point. If you’re looking for a cheap puzzle with short completion times, this is the one to pick up.