Version Reviewed: 1.4
App Reviewed on: iPhone 5
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Many games rely on trial and error as a valid way of teaching you how to progress correctly. Arguably, that’s also how we get by in life. We make mistakes and we learn from them. Ember’s Journey is just full of moments where you screw up and then learn for next time. It happens so frequently that you’ll mostly feel like you’re scratching around in the dark.
That’s because you are. Looking like an even gloomier version of Limbo, you really can’t see much at all. You’re a small white square trying to get to a thin white line. The world is incredibly dark with only a small amount of illumination helping you find your way. A finger on the left side of the screen helps you move around, while the right side of the screen is a hot zone for jumping.
Often, you’ll be jumping to somewhere you can’t really see. If you edge really close to something, you might just about be able to see but a lot of the time, you’re taking a leap into the great unknown. Sometimes, that’s ok. You can feel smug at having overcome such obstacles. Other times, it’s infuriating. There are spikes around in the early stages but they’re very tricky to see amongst the gloom. It’s a challenge that only gets even harder as the levels progress.
For every time you feel good about negotiating a series of dimly lit platforms, you’ll also be cursing at this form of memory test as you try to remember where things were from before. Tricky games are all well and good, but too often, Ember’s Journey feels like it doesn’t want you to fully enjoy it.
While there’s an appealing enough idea in there, and if you persevere you'll find some interesting puzzles, the frustration will be too frequent to really captivate your interest.