Modus Games is not a large publisher, with relatively few titles in their catalog. The most recognizable published game by Modus is likely the upcoming Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince, but there's a couple more games you should watch out for.
At E3, I was able to play Lost Words: Beyond the Page and watch a demo of Ary and the Secret of Seasons. If what I played and saw was any indication, these two titles are going to put Modus on the map.
Lost Words: Beyond the PageI selected Lost Words: Beyond the Page as one of my nominees for the best of E3, and it is well-deserved. I went in relatively blind and came out of my demo very impressed.
I began my demo as a girl platforming on the words of a diary. It's narrated and is definitely a cute little introduction, with little water-colored pictures. This diary sequence acted as both a tutorial and a way for me to choose who my character will be. I had to manipulate words to act as my platforms and reach the endpoint of the page.
At one point, a few choices of the color of my dress appeared and I slid the color "purple" to an empty slot on the diary. I did the same for the name, and this acted as a way to create my character. It's a neat little thing to add player choice even if it seems relatively inconsequential. From thereon out the narrator referred to my heroine as Robyn.
Lost Words takes place within both a diary and an imaginative fantasy world. It's also written by Rhianna Pratchett, daughter of the late Terry Prachett who is known for writing the Discworld series of books. The fantasy theme is exciting, and I experienced a beautiful and stylized world through some brief platforming sections.
The most impressive part of Lost Words is the potential to use words as a way to solve puzzles. At one point, the word "rise" was added to my diary. I came across some rocks, and I could slide the word "rise" over them and allow my character to platform to higher ground. You'll have a whole diary of words, and this mechanic has boundless potential.
My demo ended with a shock. I once again returned to the pages of my diary. Appropriately, said diary chronicles the thoughts of our narrator. As I tried to jump to the words "grandma had a stroke," the words jumbled apart and as I fell, the demo ended in darkness. This might hint at a more serious narrative, or at least one that is deceptively cheerful.
If you find yourself yearning for a platformer or enjoy clever puzzle mechanics, Lost Words: Beyond the Page is something to watch out for.
Ary and the Secret of SeasonsI watched a hands-off demo of Ary and the Secret of Seasons, and although there were a few hiccups, I was taken aback by the wonderful visuals and intriguing magical powers at your disposal.
In Ary and the Secret of Seasons, players have magical powers that command all four seasons. Playing with this theme are four hub worlds in the game that are modeled after spring, summer, autumn, and winter.
The hands-off demo was a boss fight. It was this bird-like creature made of what appeared to be rock and molten lava. This boss was on a tower in the middle of a lake and it was up to Ary to platform to the top and initiate the boss fight. I can tell that Ary is a game that is creative with boss battles - they make you work for your victory.
First, the developer climbed up a spire in the lake. The way to the top seemed inaccessible, but the developer shot ice platforms on pillars to platform to the top. The only problem is, this took four attempts until the developer was successful - she kept missing her jump to the platform. This could mean that platforming and jumping needs some work, but it's very likely it was also user error.
Once getting to the top, a chase ensued. The boss flew around an area as Ary frantically chased after it, spawning strange bubbles causing the season of winter to appear within them. I'm not entirely sure how this effects movement, but it may have slowed Ary down as the chase continued.
Eventually, the boss fight proper happened. The boss spawned different enemies and I got my first look at combat. It seems particularly Zelda-like, in that you can slice and jab but also dodge around locked-on enemies. The boss itself could be weakened with the use of season powers, so it'll be interesting to see how these come into play once the game releases.
With the boss defeated, the region is turned back to normal and changes from fertile fields of grass into a snowy wonderland. It's impressive work on the developer's part to have an entire region's aesthetic transform in such a way. The water of the lake below was now crusted over with ice, and the ground was covered in a blanket of snow.
I'm told that there is a quest system and that Ary and the Secret of Seasons aims to satisfy players of all types. When it comes out in early 2020, we'll have to see how it shapes up.
If you want to know more about this and other announcements happening at E3 then be sure to check out our E3 2019 Coverage Hub.