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.


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.


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.


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.

Review: Angry Birds for PSP

The Finn folks at Rovio Mobile have had quite the blast with their superstar physics-based puzzle game Angry Birds. Taking cue from simple castle destruction games of old (and other flash-based games), the developers at Rovio put together a bunch of really angry birds at war with egg-stealing gluttonous green pigs, added special powers to some birds and some great level design throughout the game and published it to the iOS. The rest is, well, the adoption. According to an interview with Rovio CEO Mikael Hed, the game became a bestseller almost overnight in the home country of Finland and thus began its conquest of all the major mobile operating systems.

So, after the iOS, Android, Symbian^3 and the WebOS, the game headed towards its first major gaming console entry: as a PlayStation Mini for the PlayStation Portable handheld console and the PlayStation 3 home console. The game’s 63 playable levels are available on the PSP/PS3 for a sum of $3.99.

angry birds

The main game is pretty simple: you have a catapult and a lot of gung-ho kamikaze birds at your disposal. You have to aim these birds at pig fortresses and kill all the pigs on a level because they stole the birds’ eggs. Those pigs are evil. If that did not make much sense, this video will.

There are five types of birds available as you progress with various powers available to them. The birds’ launch order is pre-determined, so you have to use some strategic thought to get through many of the higher levels.

The game has been ported well into the PS system. The controls are rock solid (unlike wonky touch controls that were especially fidgety on my phone), and the gameplay is (for the most part) buttery smooth. There were lag issues when a lot of destruction happened on screen at the same time, especially when the blue birds hit ice barriers and the like. Although they were minor, I really hope they don’t spoil the fun later with the black birds (aka the bomb birds) and the flying chickens. The sound is crisp, just as expected.

But is there a really good reason for buying this game on the PlayStation Store, especially when you can get the exact same experience on your mobile phone for much less (read: free on the Android)?

This is exactly the same experience that you get on your mobile phones. Nothing extra added (as far as I could tell; it has been a while since I’ve played episode 1’s levels) and nothing extra promised as yet. While the load times are a pain (as with all PSP games), the [almost] no-lag gameplay on a larger and brighter screen might hold appeal for fanboys.

As for me, I had $4.03 left in my PSN wallet, and did not know anything better to spend the money on. Do let me know of your thoughts in the comments!

Amtalee: The hardest Android Puzzle

Have you ever come across a puzzle that looked so easy, you thought ” This is a piece of cake!” and then, it was only time before the puzzle started grinning back at you?

Amtalee is one such puzzle available on smartphones. It is available exclusively to Android users and is true awesomeness in the world of Android puzzles.

To start with, Amtalee has an amazingly easy first level that gets you a basic idea of what to do in the mind-baffling session that follows. In just six levels, the gameplay gets sixty times dirtier.  You can get a basic idea of this from these screen captures.


The gameplay, particularly the rules, are simple. You have a block and a hole as seen and your job is to put it in the hole. You can roll the block any way you want but cannot slide it. The block has to rest on the maze completely at all times and any number of moves is allowed. That adds some ease and addiction to the game.

The graphics is smooth; the music is extremely soothing for such a brainteaser game and helps you concentrate in the game.

I have been playing Amtalee in all of my free time and have wasted a considerable amount of time on it. I recommend it to all my enemies and to all who revel in their intellectual superiority. After all, why should I suffer alone?

Get download and further info here.