There were a bunch of really good games released this week, but the one I find I keep coming back to is the one that offers exactly what it says it does on the tin. It’s Aruna’s Adventure ($4.99) from developer James Swiney, and it promises an adventure in a similar vein to the original 8-bit The Legend of Zelda. That’s precisely what you get, and while it sounds strange, it’s that focus and simplicity that makes Aruna’s Adventure so enjoyable.
Don’t expect any huge skill trees or complex crafting systems here. This is a straightforward action RPG where you’ll explore a large, colorful world screen-by-screen just as you do in The Legend of Zelda. In fact it’s this shifting patchwork world design that necessitates borders on the side of the screen for full screen iOS devices, so even though it seems like it doesn’t, Aruna’s Adventure supports full screens and extends touch support and virtual controls out into those borders. Honestly I’m pretty sensitive to bordered games but stopped noticing it here in a matter of minutes.
As expected there are all sorts of enemies roaming the lands which you’ll need to dispatch with your trusty sword and a cool dash attack which allows you to glide right through projectiles. There are also a number of special items and secrets to discover to keep things interesting. In old-school fashion, there are save statues spread throughout the world and this is where you’ll save your progress, so if you’re too careless in your battles you could find yourself losing some progress as you get respawned at your last save point.
There’s not a ton to say about Aruna’s Adventure. Like I said, it does exactly what it says on the tin. For five bucks and no ads or IAP you get to go on an adventure with a colorful cast of characters, a cute story, and a fun world to explore. It shouldn’t take you too long to make your way through and it doesn’t necessarily reinvent this formula of game, but it doesn’t need to as it’s an enjoyable ride just being what it is. If a new adventure and an old-school style of game is how you’d like to spend your weekend, Aruna’s Adventure is an easy recommendation.