“All Of Our Friends Are Dead” and “Au Sable” are games made by Amon26, both, fairly similar in concept – yet, pretty unique from one another. Each one shares its own portion of platforming and action, wherein in “Au Sable” you follow the story of a girl and in “All Of Our Friends Are Dead” you are put in the shoes[?] of a thing that’s not a girl! There is an overall abstract composition on which both titles ride along, which I really enjoyed, among other things as well. You know how I tend to not mention anything about the music when I write about video games? That’s either because I didn’t find it appealing or I didn’t even notice it due to the way – more overwhelming gameplay. While I could say that both games here managed to balance that issue, there is a bit more to the overall structure…
Both “Au Sable” and “All Of Our Friends Are Dead” are pretty short in terms of playtime. In addition, there is also the generous factor that lets the player save/load anywhere within’ the games. Enemies come in quite the variety – From wriggling red squids and fire-breathing mutants[?] to various abominations from class A to B, each with their own randomized movements and attack patterns. They all die in few shots and pose a treat only when in large numbers. That being said, getting hit by a red squid that falls from the top of the screen, in a sudden and unexpected manner, is pretty rude! Various different bosses are also to be encountered in both games, each with its own pattern,design and a fight that usually last for less than a minute! The platforming segments are of average difficulty, where the main factors for a failure are badly timed jumps or vision- obscured enemies falling on you from the top of the screen. I don’t know why I’m still bringing up the those squids… For things to spice up a bit, there is also the addition of puzzle segments – In “All Of Our Friends Are Dead” you get to find keys and bring them to doors, while in “Au Sable” you get two “eyes” for companions, which trace down your movements and you need to use that knowledge to make them activate buttons or eliminate that one enemy type. It all sound so simple and easy, eh?
Everything mentioned above sums up to the flow of the games, which is their actual bread n’ butter of success. Whether you casually play games and you tend to struggle with certain aspects or you are the game Pro+ , no save/load, no death, no limbs, no eyes playthrough, these two games push you towards progress in one way or another. Be it the constant- growing learning curve or the generous checkpoints, in the end, you’ll arrive at the goal with intact mindset, keeping track of what things where and have become. Music, visuals, sounds, they are all put together in a fashion that make you see and feel, with the gameplay scraping away the rest of your strawberry jam. Now, you are to enjoy the plain, crusty layer of your plain toast… OH, HOW LONG HAS IT BEEN SINCE YOU LAST TRIED IT???
Perhaps, the only issue that I see in “All Of Our Friends Are Dead” and “Au Sable” is their diminishing replay value. Even when it comes to additional exploration or getting a certain [second] ending, the true magic lies only in the handful of initial playthroughs. Various bugs and glitches are aslo present in the games, but honestly, you have to go way out of the expectation boundaries for them to occur, thus, they are but a nonexistent minus factor for the enjoyment of these games.
85 out of 10!!!