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  • Writer's pictureShantanu Rastogi

Solar Ash

Played On: PC via Game Pass

Solar Ash, developed by Heart Machine and published by Annapurna Interactive, was one of the most anticipated indie games of 2021. After 2 years of its release, I thought of giving this game a shot through PC Game Pass.

But, well, Solar Ash, while it has its moments, doesn't quite reach the soaring heights of its predecessor, Hyper Light Drifter.

Graphics and Art Style

You can't deny it; Solar Ash looks gorgeous. The game paints a vibrant, trippy world that's just a blast to wander around in. The vast, open spaces and ethereal landscapes are visually captivating, with the game's art style truly shining in its character and environment design while keeping that framerate nice and smooth.

Story and Narrative

The game's story is like a jigsaw puzzle with half the pieces missing. It's clear there's a deep and intriguing world to explore, but the story is told in a way that's intentionally cryptic. While some might dig that, for me, it's a bit of a head-scratcher and can leave you feeling somewhat disconnected.


The core gameplay mechanics revolve around high-speed traversal and fast-paced combat. Players control Rei, a nimble character equipped with a grappling hook, and the majority of the gameplay consists of dashing through the environment and using the hook to swing from point to point.

When it works, it's a thrill ride, but it can also be a bit of a headache when the controls don't quite hit the mark. The combat is flashy but somewhat one-dimensional, lacking a real variety of moves and enemies to keep things fresh.

Soundtrack and Audio

The soundtrack by Disasterpeace is one of the game's strongest assets. It complements the visuals perfectly, creating an atmospheric and immersive experience. The music adapts seamlessly to create an otherworldly atmosphere that just sucks you in and keeps you there.

Replayability and Length

Solar Ash offers a decent amount of content, with side objectives and hidden collectibles to encourage exploration. However, the game's frustrating controls and occasionally punishing difficulty spikes can discourage players from diving back in for more.



Solar Ash is a game that strives to be something extraordinary & aims for the stars but doesn't quite make it. The fantastic visuals and killer music make it worthwhile, but the iffy controls and vague storytelling might leave you wishing for more. If you loved Heart Machine's previous work or enjoy artsy games, you should give it a shot.


OpenCritic Rating:


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