Arise: A Simple Story Review – Hurting Hearts

If you’re into games like Journey, or even Gris, then you may want to check out Arise: A Simple Story.

The full review is below in video or scripted formats.


Hey now fans of games that make you thing about life and get sad, Matt Heywood here from Entertainment Buddha to review Arise: A Simple Story, or what I like to call a video game gut punch. 

If you’re not a fan of story driven games where the tale is more key to the experience than the gameplay, you probably won’t enjoy Arise, but if you loved games like Journey, or even Gris, it will most definitely resonate with you.

Arise, like those two other narrative gems, is more about experiencing your own life’s emotions through the character you play on screen, and it does a damn fine job at making you feel some of life’s most joyous moments, as well as some of its most darkest. 

The premise is simple, but somewhat open for interpretation. You begin the game watching the main character’s funeral, and then from there you relive his most precious memories, good or bad, as he navigates what I felt like was a pre-after-life adventure meant to give him one last reminder of his life before he joined the beyond for good. 

The concept is touching, but also sad, as we all know the joys and pain a full life can bring. The story hits hard and often, and even the ending will make you feel like you’ve been through the ringer even though it ends on what I’d call a positive emotional note. 

Either way, it’s impossible not to connect the character’s life journey to your own, and if you’ve ever loved and lost, watch out, because this game is a perfect reminder of how joyous and painful loving someone can be. 

In terms of gameplay, Arise is best described as a platformer, but it also uses some time manipulation to help you alter the environment to your needs. 

Unfortunately though, the gameplay is what drags down the experience, because the platforming is shoddy at best, so timing jumps is a chore, and at times even walking on slim paths can get clunky thanks to a combination of wonky camera angles and just poor physics. 

The gameplay isn’t enough to take away from the overall experience though, just don’t expect to not get angry at the platforming on occasion. 

Arise is a 7.5 out of 10 type of game, mostly due to the poor controls. Everything else about it, namely its story, is what makes it a worthwhile experience. 

Thanks for watching, please consider subscribing if you liked this video. I’m Matt Heywood signing off for Entertainment Buddha, where we make you a better geek, one post at a time. 

Review Summary

Story - 9
Gameplay - 5
Graphics - 8
Sound - 8
Entertainment Value - 7.5


Arise has an emotional tale about love and loss that is well worth experiencing, but be prepared for some gameplay frustrations due to its spotty platforming mechanics.

Tags : Arise
Matt Heywood

The author Matt Heywood

Matt Heywood is the founder and EIC of where he strives to make you a better geek, one post at a time! When he’s not scouring the Internet for interesting nuggets of awesomeness he can be found in his secret lair enjoying the latest and greatest video games, taking pictures of toys, or talking Star Wars on EB’s Star Wars Time podcast show.