Vest Trials: Approaching Dawn

Vest Trials: Approaching Dawn is a 2D platformer adventure game made by Andrew Wickens for a game contest that missed the deadline for the contest. It was later submitted for another contest and ended up being runner-up.

When I initially launched the game, I was concerned at how small the window was but the fears was laid to rest when checking the options revealed a full screen option. Playing full screen is a lot easier than trying to play with an extremely small window.

The controls are relatively simple, using the left and right arrows keys to move and x to jump. You are able to view rest of the controls in-game but you will be unable to change the key bindings which is a shame. Having the jump key on x kept throwing me off and resulting my death usually via impalement on spikes.

The game revolves around Dareo, an explorer who is exploring a mysterious temple deep under the Earth. Despite being abandoned ages ago, the traps that defend the temple still function and provide a deadly challenge to those who seek to uncover the temple’s secrets. The game has 10 levels in total with different themes and difficulty. Along with a final level and 2 bonus levels.

Each level has its own soundtrack, giving the game a total of 17 different music tracks. While I did enjoy the music, it did become distracting at times especially when you are beginning to rage after your 5th death at the same exact point during a level. That was awful, to play a level and do really well then die cause you were too close to the edge. Later when you reattempt, you are unable to reach where you first died. Each time you die, you will re-spawn at the starting point with the timer reset. If you manage to reach to the second level of the challenge room, you will re-spawn at that starting point instead with the timer going back to the time you reached that room. Handy feature that can induce frustration depending how far you gone in the level before dying.

Despite the frustration that I experienced, I did enjoy the game. The 2D platformer game was a nice change from the usual games that I have been playing lately. There are two versions of the game, so be sure to download the version that will best suit your computer/laptop. It had an interesting story, great setting and just fantastic level design. Hoping to hear more news about the sequel for Vest Trials: Approaching Dawn or the other game that Andrew is working on.


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