The Bridge Between Two Kingdoms

Ember is in a deep slumber when you are introduced to her and her warm inviting home. A single hole, something that you'd see from the outside of a tree where a bird might live. Inside though, beautiful hues of red and yellow illuminate the occupied area. Moss, leaves and a stump where Ember is peacefully resting. A pink butterfly floating above her head as if to wait for a command with only one word from her master. As you move the L stick the whole inside of your abode lights up with magnificent light! Magical dust particles sweep across the screen indicating that some type of magic lies about the hollowed home. Everywhere you move, so does your companion, the butterfly. Where you were once sleeping, you can now tell that your bed was made of fuzzy moss. Probably an equivalent of a sleep mattress to most humans. Embers hair looks like the end of a lit match, blazing with red and the tips highlighted with the most magnificent yellow. Everything about her screams fire fairy! Her skirt mirroring her hair tells you that she is nothing less than warm. A two way scarf gently flows behind her as you walk and jump. The flow of air follows her every move. As you begin to move about her home, you will see that all of her furniture is conjured from the very tree itself. Two chairs with a table placed perfectly in the middle of the two unoccupied seats made of the living tree. As you meet the end of your home, but the beginning of the world, the scene switches from warm to cold.

Rime was awakened by a dream with the smell of sulfur jolting his body a wake. This castle has the touch of frost and shivers. Rime has a butterfly also, except his creature is blue, and his master's breath is an indication that every time he breaths, he lives in a land of emptiness to most. The layout of the castle is made of brick and frozen handrails all around. Banners of Rime's home lay all around him. This is no doubt the land of frost bitten nature. It is beautiful in its own way. It is less inviting than Ember's home but is very interesting none the less. The walkway parting the main castle from the halls, you get a picture of what the layout of the land looks like. Mountains of snow so tall that they take up most of the scene in the background. Boulders made of pure ice and the bridge itself has icicles so long that they themselves could make the bridge that Rime walks across. So transparent and beautiful, the icicles look like they have been there for centuries with no disruption. The hair of Rime is pulled into a ponytail, white as snow and frost covered. His tunic is baby blue with patches of dark blue. Like looking into the depths of a cold lake, the shade of blue that is worn will make you shiver just by looking at it. His pants have some sort of symbols that look like runes of ancient times, the pattern, made of white so that it is clearly seen by all who gaze upon him. His scarf of dark blue also spreads out to the tips of a magnificent snow capped white that seems to shine with only the works of magic. Being the last hero and the lone defender of his castle, no wonder why it seems so lonely, like one touch of his kingdom would leave you feeling despair and regret.

As you reach the end of your home, as with Ember, the scene is switched back to the other world that is so foreign from the one you just emerged from. As Ember walks out into her lands, she realizes that the ancient trees are shattered and broken. Something is wrong and she can feel it with every bone in her body. Worry spreads across her face, the only thing giving her strength to move on was curiosity and the spark of life. Even though to her lands there were in ruin, it is still beautiful and glowimg with love. Beams of lights shoot through the leaves from the tops of the trees. Lively water streams flowing from the heavens are just there as if this is normal everyday life. The colors of autumn pepper the background while the lively greens lay smothered on the branches of the tree. Ancient trees indeed lay here.

A narrator talks you through the beginning of your journey, the music puts you in such a scene that you believe you are walking through a mystical forest and enchanted ice kingdom. Ember and Rime have never met before and barely have anything in common, until today when Embers fires, that once gave life, are now engulfing every living thing. The toll is heavy and is affecting Rime's ice kingdom, melting ice bridges and changing his landscape as he once knew it. As they venture forth, not knowing what will happen or what type of world lies outside of their own, they take the chance, for staying at home in their once safe space, is no longer an option.

Rime reaches the edge of his kingdom, as he does, a split screen pops up and you now see Embers world also. Pressing LB to switch characters, you now have control of Ember, as both character's creep toward each other. They are about to find brand new worlds as they have never imagined. They both step onto the bridge together that connects the two lands. As they do so, they simultaneously walk towards each other and lock eyes, something magical happens and the air becomes magical. The moment of excitement and pure fascination only lasted a couple of seconds, the bridge collapsed and they both fell to a world joined below.

This is a two player game; however, I am playing single player. The two shed an aura of their inner beings and the lives they once lived. On one side you'll have the element of fire, the other ice, cold. This game is basically something of a puzzle. A barrier separates the two but carries their world along. As you move across the land so does Ember's inner power, as well as Rime's. You'll see the world light up on the right side of a magical forest with lively birds singing, grass and trees brimming with life, and at the same time, on the other side, you'll have the frosted trees and icicled branches. Holding the power of two very powerful elements, you'll be forced to switch between characters using the powers to either melt a bride and walk through water or maybe freeze the bridge so you can walk across. You'll have to dabble between the characters to make this game work. If you have Rime in front as you are walking down a tree branch, the cold effect will make the branch die and have the once lively tree branch becomes fragile and able to bend. While Ember is behind you the power of life she holds, after walking off the frozen branch will magically make the branch spring back to life. These elements are working in two different ways, but also have the effect to work together by switching the effect back and forth. As you step off the branch, it'll lift up because of Ember's powers, in order for this to work, you'll have to switch characters and make Ember walk first, if you do not and you have Rime go first, the branch will lie dead and you'll have no way of going under it. This is where working with both characters comes into play. This will be your struggle throughout the rest of the game. Working together, both creating and destroying life in order to move forward.

Graphics

These Graphics are beautiful.

It puts me in a world where I am most comfortable, beauty, loss and reconstruction. Everyone gets emotional strength from reading or living with both. It's more of a three dimensional game that fits in well with a platformer, the beauty comes from seeing the trees and living things dying, then being reborn from a power held from within. A lot of the scenes take place in wooded areas or places that have natural life. The fact that you have two separate lives merging in one way to conjure up a lifeline is pretty unique. Hot, cold, life and death. Orbs of light that seem to burst with magic floating all around you. Each character bringing their own talents and creating a path only teamwork could.

My opinion

The first time I played this game I was in awe. Nothing like this has been done before. I wrapped my head around the concept pretty quickly and really loved what I was seeing on my TV screen. Moondrop really out did themselves here. Something like unravel with a twist of life and death. This is something that I can use in everyday life, the concept I mean. A lot of people don't realize that games aren't all fiction. People who create these games put their experience of life into their art, which is the video game they created. This game is on the top of my list for platformers that I've played. I will see what other games they have made for I really enjoyed Degrees of Separation.