Chasing Aurora (Wii U)

Nintendo’s new Wii U console already has a great selection of launch titles, and there are plenty more to download on the system’s eShop as well. One of those is Chasing Aurora, a competitive multiplayer 2-D aerial action game featuring bird people in flight chasing each other.

Chasing Aurora has three multiplayer modes and one single player mode. The multiplayer modes include Hide and Seek, Freeze Tag, and Chase. Each player picks a different color bird person, and one uses the Wii U controller while the others use Wii remotes. Players can soar just by pressing the D-pad, flap with one button, and dive with another.

In Hide and Seek, the Wii U controlled bird carries a pendant in its feet called Aurora’s Gem. The other birds view the action on the TV and try and find the bird carrying the gem. The hider can trick the others by dropping the gem, but don’t forget to pick it up before the others find it! If the hider can keep from getting caught, he or she wins. But if the others find them first, they win.

In Freeze Tag, one player controls an ice bird on the Wii U controller, and the rest are regular bird people on the TV screen. If the ice bird touches another player, they’ll be frozen in ice. Other birds can revive frozen comrades by simply touching them. If you are off the screen for too long, you’ll be frozen as well. The Wii U controller player wins if all other birds are frozen.

The last mode is Chase. In this one, the Wii U controlled bird has the Aurora’s Gem pendant, and the others must try and catch it. But if the chasers get left behind and are off the TV screen for a couple of seconds, they lose a point. Lose all three points and you’re out of the game. Whoever has the pendant for the longest time wins. I’m not even sure if this mode really even uses the Wii U controller in any clever way.

You can play each of these modes in several tournament levels with up to five players. There is also a single player mode where one bird flies around a track, soaring through gates and arrows to increase the score in a given amount of time. There are tons of varying stages with different obstacles like lightning strikes, waterfalls, wind, and other elements that can affect your flight.

Only problem with this game is that for the price point, it seems a bit paltry as compared to other Wii U multiplayer titles like Nintendo Land. Maybe after playing that one, the developers of Chasing Aurora can come up with some good ideas for a sequel. I thought the angular graphics and characters gave the game a bit of a Southwestern Native American legends vibe, too. Maybe they can play up that idea in another game as well.

Kid Factor:

Chasing Aurora is rated E for Everyone with an ESRB descriptor of Mild Fantasy Violence. Bird people can get hit by lightning, frozen in freeze tag, or enveloped in fire, but nobody gets hurt or dies. Reading skill is helpful for some of the instructions, but since it’s a mostly multiplayer game, older players can probably help the younger ones out.

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