Underscore and Joy Brick modernize the golden days of couch co-op for an unmissable adventure
It has been quite a while since a game has provided such a unique gameplay experience as Aliisha: The Oblivion of Twin Goddesses does. Developed by Underscore and Joy Brick, Aliisha is a puzzle game which is made with co-op in mind, taking full advantage of all the Switchs’ control mechanics to create something both interesting and incredible.
A prelude to adventure
Aliisha centres on twin sisters Lisha and Aisha who were born with some unique characteristics. Lisha is the older twin by a few seconds, and possesses an incredibly rational mind but is incapable of perceiving emotions or affection. Her sister Aisha on the other hand is quite sensitive and incredibly adventurous, and whilst she is injured a lot during, she cannot feel any pain.
When adventuring one day, Aisha comes across an abandoned temple stirring with local folklore, with the legends saying all the temple priests were twins, with a mysterious appliance deep within being said to integrate the souls of twins. Eager to explore, Aisha urges Lisha to explore with her. Unimpressed, Lisha nevertheless stays at the entrance and sends her robotic AI AMBU with Aisha, and the adventure begins.An innovation in controls
Aliisha has some of the most interesting gameplay mechanics I have seen in a long time, and you can tell this is a game that is best experienced with a partner. You most certainly can tackle it alone and will be able to enjoy it, but the developers have put in an immense amount of effort to make this a co-op masterpiece and it shows.
Both of the sisters have completely different styles of gameplay to try out, and you will need to master both to make it to the end. As the brash, adventurous one, Aisha is controlled with the Joy-Con remotes with the Switch in TV mode. Hand stability is key when playing as Aisha, as she is the one who gets physically involved with the more dexterous puzzles where one slip of the hand can and will fail the puzzle and set you down an unintended path. Her ability to use AMBU to scan items and find their hidden clues will be essential in solving the puzzlesMeet the adventurers
Lisha, as the more rational and calm sister, chooses to adventure remotely via her AI robot AMBU, who is controlled with the Switch in handheld mode. Controlling AMBU is more of a conventional experience, as you pilot AMBU around, finding out of the way puzzles to solve using the Switchs’ touch control. As AMBU has more freedom in the temple, the pilot will need to have a keen eye to spot clues and solve the more logical puzzles.
Even though both characters will receive asymmetric information, but the puzzles are often symmetrical. They will be gathering clues individually and will have to share with each other what they have learnt to help each other progress. This means that both players will sometimes be solving puzzles alone, but most often the key will be communication between players to share information with each other. Choices made and actions taken will lead the story down a branching storyline which has multiple endings. Completing these different routes are always fun for story purposes, but in Aliisha it is also a good excuse for both players to switch roles for a playthrough which is nice.Two scores for the price of one
Whilst the gameplay is certainly the games biggest draw, and how couldn’t it be with the amount of thought put into it, the music has equally had a lot of attention paid to it. Each of the sisters has their own score throughout the game; Lisha has a fairly simple score reflecting her rational, straightforward mindset, whereas Aisha has a more encouraging, engaging score for her boisterous spirit.
When you play solo, you will only be experiencing one of these scores at any one time, which is enjoyable as they are both beautiful in their own unique ways, however it’s when you play with a partner that you can fully appreciate the care Underscore have taken when creating this masterpiece. Symbolising the strong bond between the sisters, when played together the scores will combine perfectly for a truly wonderful audio experience.A fantastically fun time for friends
We do not have many games that are made with two players in mind anyway, since the golden days of split screen, and it is a shame because gaming is a whole different experience multiplayer. Playing MMOs and shooters like COD online with others is fun, but being in the same space tackling things together is a fantastic experience, and one that Aliisha embraces and turns into one of the greatest two player experiences gaming has seen in a while.