Aaero is a bit like muscial shooter Rez and a bit like music rhythm game Guitar Hero. But I hear what you’re saying: wasn’t Rez a “music rhythm” game too? Yes, it is, but not in the same way. Shooting enemies makes the music play in Rez, but Aaero is more focused on building a score multiplier by performing actions in sync with the music, like in Guitar Hero. It’s a thrilling, nerve-wracking game at times, but it is very fun to play.
The only issue I have is that it only supports a controller – no keyboard and mouse here. This is an intentional decision, and developers Mad Fellows are pretty up-front about it. They could have done something weird, like using the mouse for moving, and letting you aim with the WSAD keys, though that would be rather alien to those used to playing games the other way round. As it stands, you play through the electro-music tracks using the left analogue stick on your controller to trace a line and avoid obstacles. Meanwhile you use the right analogue stick to aim, with the right trigger to fire a weapon.
The moment that Aaero clicked for me is when I saw a level begin with the appearance of a life bar. Yes, Aaero has boss fights and the first one makes quite the impression. You’ll need to shoot down a sandworm and other creatures before your shields are all destroyed. I won’t say how it ends, as finding out for yourself is part of why this level made it all click for me, but suffice to say I was hooked from that point. If you can tolerate the style of music that Aaero showcases, this is one ship worth piloting.