Saira is a very clever, slower-paced platform game focused on exploration and puzzles. It was created by Nifflas, the indie developer behind the Knytt games, Within a Deep Forest, and others. So if you're interested in this game, you might want to try those games first (they are freeware) to get an idea of what you're in for. But Saira is significantly deeper than those. Granted, Knytt and the other games are intended to be a pure, unfiltered exploration experience and there's nothing wrong with that. But Saira brings some very unique and engaging puzzles into the formula. Plus, it features a fun, pinball-inspired game when traveling between planets.
The story is interesting. Saira was attempting to teleport to her friend on Mars, but during teleporation something happened that she was protected from. When she arrived, almost everyone was gone. She finds another person named Bobo, but they are separated and she tries to find him again... if he's still alive.
The platforming can be somewhat intense at times, with timed sections, flight and other interesting mechanics. Each planet lends itself to some different ideas, which is quite brilliant, and the planets within each solar system often have related puzzles (take pictures on Planet A to figure out a a puzzle on Planet B). You have to charge your battery to go to farther solar systems, and each planet is like a new discovery with new ideas.
The picture-taking is very innovative because it helps you solve puzzles without having to travel back to a place you were at previously to check something. You can check your pictures any time, including when working on puzzles.
There are save points all around every planet, similar to Nifflas' previous games. The placement and design of each planet is very nicely laid out and they each have very different atmospheres. The challenge comes entirely from platforming and puzzles. You can get hurt from occasional monsters, but it just sends you back to a save point. You don't actually fight them.
The progression is somewhat open-world. You can explore wherever you like, and each planet is a small, non-linear level. But it takes battery power to explore farther away, so you must solve puzzles in each solar system to get to the battery chargers. Most puzzles are done through terminals that are placed throughout the world, and there is a very wide variety of puzzles, some of which will provide a lot of brain-bending to figure out.
The visual style follows up the unique, atmospheric ambience of Nifflas' previous games. Some planets look more interesting than others, but there are a lot of very beautiful locales throughout the game with a lot of nice, subtle effects. Somewhat simple, but highly effective.
For me, this is a must-play game for people that enjoy puzzles and platforming. There are some similarities to the Metroid series (like Nifflas' other games), but the game isn't as action-focused. If that interests you, I'd highly recommend it. If you're unsure, try the demo on Nifflas' website. You can always input a serial number later if you decide to buy it, and pick up where you left off. But I would caution judging the game too much based on the demo. The game gets stronger the longer you play it and the farther you get, an effect that might not be apparent from the demo.