Aeolis Tournament – Nintendo Switch
Developed By: Beyond Fun Studio
Published By: Beyond Fun Studio
Category: Party, Multiplayer
Release Date: July 23, 2020
It’s been said that most original ideas have been thought of already, so when a combination of existing ideas comes together it can either feel brand new or something we’ve seen before. Drawing inspiration from the Greek god of wind Aeolus, the idea for Aeolis Tournament from Canadian developer and publisher Beyond Fun Studio came from a game jam in Quebec, which went on to be successfully funded on Kickstarter.
There are 6 main games which you can play individually or as a tournament with a combination of up to 8 human and CPU players. The main mechanic which each game is built around is the air cannon which each player has strapped to their arm. It is much like a leaf blower and can be used to inhale items or debris to then propel them or move items or opponents, depending on the object of the game.
This is quite an eclectic mix of games, with a Smash Brothers arena type game, a shameless Rocket League type game, air hockey, snowball fight, a marble based game and a literal explosive twist on dodgeball. The range of games also extends to their quality, with some a hit and others a miss.
In Perfect Storm you must push all other opponents out of the arena using your air cannon or the debris around you. It can however be difficult to keep track of your character during frenzied moments and at times it’s all too easy to fall off the arena, particularly during Chaos mode which causes it to change around you Smash Brothers style.
The imagination poured into the name Sportsball is about the same amount used in the mode itself, with it being an inferior Rocket League clone. Each time a goal is scored the ball changes to a different type of ball such as a football, beachball, tennis or giant hockey puck to name a few. However many matches can descend into school playground football with everyone chasing after the ball, and some ball types are quite unwieldy with ball control feeling loose resulting in you rarely feeling in control of the ball. Air Hockey is similar to Sportsball, and the lack of control over your character on the slippery surface can lead to frustration.
But there is fun to be had in Marble Thief, Explosive Dodgeball and Snowball Battle where the main mechanic is to pick up objects and throw them. The greater feeling of control in each of these games helps elevate them above the others.
The intelligence of CPU opponents can be a mixed bag at times with teammates unwittingly blocking you, and your opponents will sometimes wander off randomly ignoring the task in hand. In Sportsball and Air Hockey there can sometimes feel like there is an element of rubber banding when CPU opponents are behind, only to mount a miraculous comeback. Thankfully playing with people is more fun and you can play with up to 7 other players online or locally using single joy cons. When reviewing this game there was no one to play against online which isn’t a good sign, but you can still play online against whoever you know who has a copy of the game.
You can earn points by completing in game achievements which you can spend on new skins and accessories for each character to wear. The characters are pretty derivative so this may not be enough of a carrot for some, even if there isn’t too much of a grind needed. But with the game catering to a younger audience it’s refreshing that there are no micropayments.
The overall package is quite bare bones. Graphically no envelopes are being pushed but the upside is that performance is reasonable across handheld and docked modes. While there are 6 different games, there aren’t different arena types which is a shame. While there’s a different dynamic to Points v Time modes, this isn’t enough of a differential.
Aeolis Tournament stakes its claim in the congested PvP field with a fun first effort from Beyond Fun Studio, but this feels like something we’ve seen before with better examples of each game elsewhere.
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The Switch Effect was provided with a game code for review purposes.