Aeterna: Rubra Plena Demo Review – First Impressions

Aeterna: Rubra Plena is a magicpunk indie otome game developed by newbie indie studio, Quantum Velvet. The game is set in the world of Thealia, in a magicpunk universe with Persian undertones. You play a beautiful young noblewoman dealing with her current and past experiences while finding love. For their first project, Aeterna: Rubra Plena is visually stunning!

Game Details

  • Romance | Fantasy | Drama
  • Price: TBA
  • Where to Play:


Norelia (renamable) has been pushed into depression due to her past life. Once a social butterfly, she has lost the will to upkeep her previous social life and distances herself from others, seeing them as faceless figures and dolls with strings attached.

That is, until she meets a special someone. She starts to feel emotions she forgot were possible to feel. But her life is about to be turned upside down once again as she is arrested for a crime she did not commit and plunged into the depth of the Astrals, where she now has to fend for herself in a place that despises her very being.

Official Story Synopsis


Aeterna Rubra Plena Demo Review

For a first time game dev, the demo for Aeterna: Rubra Plena is pretty impressive. The art is absolutely gorgeous and is only enhanced by the Persian inspired character designs and magicpunk aesthetic. The game follows Norelia, a beautiful noblewoman from one of the most prestigious families in Thealia. She lives a comfortable life, in the upper Astrals, but despite all of her privileges, Norelia feels detached from the lavish lifestyle she has been accustomed to. While attending a ball with her parents, Norelia meets a handsome stranger from the lower Astrals who opens her eyes to the realities of the world.

The demo is short, but offers a nice introduction to the world and the characters of Aeterna: Rubra Plena. I’m not as familiar with the magicpunk genre, but it seems to be a more fantasy inspired twist on the steampunk genre, trading in steam powered mechanics for magically infused tech. Early on Quantum Velvet sets the foundation for an imaginative fantasy setting, with opening exposition that details the creation of the world and the relationship between the people of Thealia and the gods. While it’s not explored as much in the demo, the bit of worldbuilding we do get creates a richly atmospheric vibe that I really enjoyed.

The overall demo experience covers roughly a half hour of gameplay and details Norelia’s first encounter with Aleksander. Right off the bat, Norelia is drop dead gorgeous! She is by far one of the most beautiful otome heroines I have ever encountered; a warm brown complexion, long flowing white hair, and striking golden eyes. There is a sensuality to her that you don’t often find in heroine characters and I love that she isn’t afraid to give into her sexual desires. She can very confident in more intimate interactions. Norelia is not afraid to make the first move and in the demo, she and Aleksander absolutely smash! But when faced with larger engagements Norelia reveals an underlying social anxiety, that the devs depict visually with distorted character designs and imagery.

In fact, Quantum Velvet does a lot of fun visual techniques within the demo that really sets them apart from most first time game developers. The character sprites have slight eye movement animations that make close up interactions feel more intimate. The aforementioned visual depiction of Norelia’s anxiety attack actively puts readers into the heroine’s shoes as we experience the world the way she does. Each small detail really comes together to create a very immersive experience.

Of course, I can’t talk about Aeterna: Rubra Plena without talking about, hottie with the body, Aleksander. Hunky bae is from the undercity and through as of yet undisclosed means has made his way into the upper Astrals. He seems pretty street smart, opening Norelia’s eyes to the disparities between the upper and lower Astrals. But, because he isn’t as familiar with the society life of the upper Astrals he is awkward in the face of the lavish lifestyles of the wealthy. He seems sweet, but he’s not as forthcoming about his past so he has a bit of a mysterious vibe.

While he is the only love interest you encounter in the demo (as of this writing), the devs are planning for Aeterna: Rubra Plena to have a total of four love interests–three male love interests and one female. So there is definitely going to be a few hotties for readers to choose from, including our as of yet unseen, super mega foxy hot, megane butler, Elis.

Overall, I really enjoyed Aeterna: Rubra Plena it’s visually stunning, the art is definitely the biggest draw, especially Norelia, whose character design is absolutely beautiful! The writing is great, the dialogue flows well and the world building paints a beautiful backdrop for the magicpunk setting. Based on the premise, I did notice a few early similarities to the otome game, Steam Prison. Mostly in the set up of the world and the differences between the upper and lower Astrals (also heroine gets arrested for a crime she didn’t commit). So far, I really like Aeterna: Rubra Plena and I am very curious to see what Quantum Velvet has for us in the future. Definitely give this game a play if you have a chance and keep this dev on your radar!

Find Quantum Velvet Studio

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