A Platformer without Jumping–NightSky Review

It goes without saying that a big chunk of platforming games depend on level design, ambiance and the variation of the enemies. Nifflas’ Games eliminated that last dependency and upped the ante on the other two and have presented NightSky for PC gamers. Originally conceived as a WiiWare game during Game Developer Conference 09 as Night Game that never saw the light of the day, NightSky is a muted and atmospheric physics based puzzle-platformer that will have you admiring each level’s silhouetted and dreamy denizens as you whizz past them.

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You control a ball with some sort of life force. In some levels you can speed up the ball or invert the gravity as well. In some levels, you do not have any control over the ball (except braking). That is not all. Some levels allow you to control pinball flippers instead of the ball while others put the ball inside a car, with the ball touching both the wheels of the 2D car. It is interesting to note that the game’s physics are spot-on with the ball’s spin and momentum being conserved and realistically damped. If you’ve catch and throw or any other game involving spherical objects, this game will be very easy for you to get into.

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This is also attributed to the game’s design. NightSky is made for casual play, preferably right before you sleep. The atmosphere is mellow and soft with an enchanting music track that suits the game’s feel perfectly. Each level is beautiful and silhouetted against the waning sky ,with quirky creatures of the night looking curiously at you, the player. You will roll past dark caverns (not the scary kind, mind you), grassy meadows at dusk and mountainsides silhouetted against the dark blue twilight sky in the background. Everything in NightSky is designed to ease you into the splendor of slumber.

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With eleven worlds (not including the very well designed creditsworld), NightSky will keep you entranced for quite a while, as the difficulty scales up well in the later stages. An easy game to play, NightSky is a welcome break from the hair-loss-inducing VVVVVV and Super Meat Boy.

Get the demo of NightSky at Nifflas’ Games’ website. You can buy the game at either Fastspring or Steam.

2 thoughts on “A Platformer without Jumping–NightSky Review”

  1. Super Meat Boy is tough man! Some of the wrap zones are insane!! In spite of the many warnings offered by its developers, I tried playing it with keyboard. The end result is that I have badly aching fingers after every session.

    This seems to be another gem of an indie game. Will check it out.

    1. Yup – that game is sheer frustration in the form of a platformer. I’d also recommend playing VVVVVV as another bang-head-on-keyboard-after-the-34598734978th-attempt game.

      This one, on the other hand, is a different kind of beautiful.

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