Telling a story through a video game can be easy depending on how you approach the task. At the end, though, one has to remember that the main objective is still to make a game and that should be the focus. Embers of Mirrim is a game that, sadly, tries to tell a story more than trying to keep the player entertained or having fun.
The game has a story that isn’t really explained well. It’s simple and enough for the game to work but the big problem is that it’s never really explained in the game. Besides the initial cutscene and the ending one, there’s nothing in the game that will remind you of the story or that there’s even one. You’ll probably even forget that it’s there while playing the game. The biggest issue is that the story is overall best explained in the description at the eShop and not through the software itself.
As a game, its controls feel well done overall. Embers of Mirrim includes several levels in which you’ll encounter a few puzzles using the split mechanic joined together by simple platforming challenges. The first thing is what makes the game unique. By holding both L and R, you can split your character into two energy orbs that you can control independently with each control stick. Most of the challenges you’ll encounter revolve around this gameplay mechanic, testing your coordination and puzzle-solving abilities. Some of these puzzles can be quite interesting while others are simple.
The platformer sections serve more as a bridge and relax between the puzzle sections. Sadly, they are very simple and easy. Sometimes you’ll even just go forward without even being challenged at all which makes these section feel more like fillers than anything else.
During the game you’ll encounter a few boss battles. These are decent and feel more like a a final test to see if you really learned to use the splitting mechanic through the level.
Something also worth noting is that the developers flipped the “accept” and “cancel” buttons which can be confusing while navigating the few menus of the game.
Graphically, the game is overall unimpressive. Its art style feels generic and the environments all feel really similar and nothing special. The game runs at a constant framerate while docked with a few frame drops on the final levels. On portable mode, the framerate drops more frequently through the whole game but still easily tolerable. The cutscenes also suffer from framerate drops on both docked and portable mode.
The audio of the game is also quite uninteresting and overall bland and boring. The music is forgettable to the point that you’ll probably even forget that there’s music. The sound effects are done fine but are generic.
System reviewed on: Nintendo Switch.
Disclaimer: A review code for Embers of Mirrim was provided by the developer.