Aaru's Awakening invites you into hand-animated platforming paradise

If you're jonesing for some top-quality platforming action (and who isn't, really), you should keep an eye on Aaru's Awakening , an indie game from Iceland-based Lumenox Games .

You play as Aaru, the champion of Dawn. The world is split into four dimensions: Dawn, Day, Dusk and Night, each ruled by a deity of the same name. Night is making trouble and disturbing the balance (there's one in every family), so Dawn asks his bro, Aaru, to step in and sort it out. Aaru is, well, he's a Rooster-bear. I'll let Lumenox explain that one:

“We wanted each champion to be an animal that is linked to its part of the day… it was easy for us to link a rooster to dawn,” Lumenox Marketing Director Jóhann Ingi Guðjónsson told me. “But we knew that playing as a chicken/rooster would not fit in at all with our art style and we wanted a more 'bad ass' look to our protagonist. I started to make drawings of Aaru, the rooster, with strong animals like gorillas and bears in mind.”

The art style is one of the most interesting parts of the game. Inspired by 70s animation movies, Everything is hand-drawn, from the backgrounds to the character animations. Aaru has two abilities: charge (think: double-jump) and teleportation. Aaru flings his soul across the screen and teleports to unreachable areas as he makes his way through the game. It's the simplest of all mechanics, but when you put a fast-moving rooster-bear in a hostile environment, things can get pretty challenging. (You know how rooster-bears can be. Typical rooster-bear behavior.)

“We have been getting a lot of tips from players who downloaded the demo that the game is too hard,” Guðjónsson says of the free demo . “The game, however, will help you learn the controls better before reaching hard parts of the game and will offer various difficulty levels that will betters suit some rather than others.”

Aaru's Awakening will be released later this year. It's currently on Steam Greenlight . Go and vote, or Night wins.