Thursday, June 1, 2017

Dawn - The Friday FREE GAME Feature!

A relaxing and casual platforming journey through nature.

Dawn is a platforming title created by a group of students at SMU Guildhall with the goal of getting Greenlit on Steam (which it was). While it's a complete game in the academic sense, several aspects leave it feeling a bit more like a highly-polished project.

Let's get the negatives out of the way first. The title is short - as in you can finish it without grabbing any collectibles in several minutes. I wouldn't be surprised if accomplished speedrunners could finish it in under a minute (skipping cutscenes, of course).

Dawn is also extremely casual. There's no enemies, no damage, and falling off into the void summons a wind that sweeps you back to a nearby location (typically very close to where you jumped). It's about as soft a failure state you can find, but it's there and it works.

The movement and jumping controls work pretty well, but I would've preferred mouse turning to change the character's direction or aiming where you were looking. That's a minor gripe though, as projectiles and aiming play a small part of the game.

As for positives, Dawn has plenty! It has relaxing music and sounds. The art is colorful, mysterious and a bit cartoony - it looks like it could be a zone in WildStar. If you take the time to look around, there's lots of hidden areas to explore. In fact, finding all the collectible flowers even unlocks a secondary character skin. All this combined with the casual gameplay make Dawn a relaxing journey, something rare and unexpected in a platformer.

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