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Game Day: Gemini

Some games are as much about art and the experience they create as they are about gameplay. Monument Valley comes to mind for instance. Gemini – A Journey of Two Stars is a beautiful new game from Echostone Games that falls into the same category and succeeds by being simultaneously stunning and engrossing.

As you start Gemini, two stars have fallen from the sky. You play as the larger star. There are no instructions or tutorials, just subtle visual hints about what you are supposed to do. Tapping the left and right sides of the screen guides your star in those directions.

As you approach the smaller star, the two interact and begin to rise. Get too far away from the smaller star and both start to fall from the sky. This makes for an interesting tension as you try to stay close to the smaller star, which can have a mind of its own, while also completing the game’s tasks.

As you rise through a gorgeous abstract landscape, the sky darkens. If it gets too dark, your stars will fall. To avoid that you need to light beacons by steering your star over them. Lighting up the sky has the added advantage of revealing more of your surroundings. The stunning artwork of Gemini is paired with an equally impressive and soothing soundtrack that sets the tone for the game.

As you lose yourself in Gemini, the game is more about the interaction of the stars than anything else. The dance between the stars and making sure you bring the little star along become the focus. This is a very different game, but the feeling of a connection with the small star that Gemini created as I played reminded me a lot of playing Journey last Summer on my PS4.

Gemini is relatively short. The six stages of the game should take most people no more than 1-2 hours to complete. If you evaluate games by the numbers of levels per dollar you spend, you may be disappointed with Gemini, but as a piece of interactive art, I suspect many people, myself included, will return to Gemini over and over just to enjoy the visuals and soundtrack.

Gemini is available on the App Store at an introductory price of $2.99.

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