Wheels Of Aurelia
Top Critic Average
You’ll want to play Wheels of Aurelia several times to see all the paths you can take, but practical issues make that a chore
An original mix between interactive fiction and arcade racing that brings you in the Italy of the seventies: a truly unique game that deserves to be played.
Review in Italian | Read full review
I love being exposed to new places and histories, but the distancing of Aurelia’s structure had me looking for a way to get closer; that brush with the familiar pulled me right in for a moment and I wanted more of the same.
Wheels of Aurelia presents a captivating premise and its dialogues are nothing short of interesting. Unfortunately the game's execution does not allow it to become a fully enjoyable hybrid between a visual novel and driving simulator and the dialogue's mechanics often disappoint, which along with an unpolished visual component makes this an unfulfilled promise.
Review in Portuguese | Read full review
As a visual novel, Wheels of Aurelia is a lacklustre experience. As a driving game, it's even worse. However you wish to identify it, this title lacks genuine substance; it's a solid idea executed poorly. The key themes and settings are deceptive, making the title seem like it is built on strong foundations when in reality, it's made up of a series of convoluted verbal exchanges between characters who forcefully touch on an array of dicey topics relevant but not always central to the time. The historical-links also suffer as this information is often overridden by an aggressive sense of agenda-setting that robs the exchanges of impact. Then there's the main narrative focused on a person you're likely to not even care about due to the concise nature of each road trip. It's simply not on par with the best titles this genre has to offer, and although you could argue that the esoteric nature of the game means it will illicit wildly different emotional reactions from different people, the core package just isn't compelling, challenging or appealing enough to back up that line of debate.
It might sound like Wheels of Aurelia is a slog, and although it can feel that way on occasion, it is still an enjoyable jaunt across the Via Aurelia.
Wheels of Aurelia sputters onto the race track
undefined.We certainly need developers willing to take risks and experiment with different ideas to move the industry forward, but unfortunately not every new idea is going to work. As with every niche I'm sure there is an audience that will appreciate the beautiful visuals and pleasant soundtrack, but for me I just couldn't get past the uninteresting back stories and repetition of playing through the same experience to get slightly different endings.
For anyone looking for a refreshing change from open-world time sinks after the glut of Mafia III, Watch Dogs 2, Skyrim: SE and Final Fantasy XV, Wheels of Aurelia may be the perfect game for you. Each playthrough takes no longer than 20 minutes and it can be completed in a tenth of the time these games take. It’s also recommended to those that like getting the most out of games as by the end you will have a preferred ending and despite its short length, it’s a game people can have different experiences with and then share those stories with each other, much like the most successful AAA titles.
Wheels of Aurelia is a disappointing attempt at bringing the Visual Novel genre to the Switch, it's too short to be engaging, and at its current price tag seems a bit too steep.