Once in a while you have a need for a game to entertain you for an hour or two. If I’m travelling and I have few hours extra time, I am usually too tired to focus on heavier games be it strategy or rpgs. I don’t know about you, but in my opinion, casual games in these cases really hit the spot. In NightSky, you’re a sphere who journeys through multiple puzzle-environments along the way.
NightSky (by Nicalis) begins so that you’re on the beach one day and find this strange sphere. Not knowing what it is, you take it home nevertheless. When the night comes, you go to sleep and start to have these strange dreams where the sphere travels through various puzzle-like locations. As you guessed it, that journey is NightSky.
The game begins with starter puzzles that are quite easy and are clearly meant to teach me how to play the game, but after those the challenging part begins. What really strikes home is the games physics; you’re a round object thus you can build momentum and this translates to rich experience. The levels are all about finding balance, right speed, perfect timing, momentum and accuracy. So i.e. you will be trying to fling yourself through the level or find yourself balancing on an object just enough to get to another object. When puzzles grow more difficult, you need to create a chain of events in order to complete the level. In addition, in some areas the sphere has abilities which make it move faster of actually change gravity. By having ability to break, speed up, reverse gravity, the puzzles come even more challenging. In some levels the sphere has more abilities than one and there are levels where you actually cannot control the movement of the sphere, just the abilities. One nice addition what I especially liked that there was some levels where the sphere was inside a vehicle, and the rotation of the sphere made the vehicle move. That was truly engaging.
The controls are simple and precise. Once you begin playing NightSky, the sphere handles the way it is supposed to. This is unfortunate because now I don’t have anything to blame when I fail multiple times in a level. When the powers are being used, the color of sphere changes so you’ll know what is happening.
A big plus to the game comes from the feeling and atmosphere it delivers. Visually NightSky is very simple, but it paints an enjoyable tone for the game. The world of NightSky is dark and full of shadows (take a look at the trailer in the end of this post) without the feeling of scary things or danger. The feeling is more or less dreamy and the relaxing soundtrack of the game really works: There are ambient background noises based where you are, sounds of that sphere moving and relaxing music. Visuals and sounds together are a complete package.
I really liked NightSky although it was a bit short. The atmosphere was good and the levels where hard enough. For $10 the game is really worth its price and I can easily imagine myself playing the game again and again when I need to waste few hours. Hours well spent and great value for money.