I don't remember where I first heard about the indie game NightSky, but I'm guessing one of the reasons it caught my attention was because the 3DS version got a rare 10 out of 10 on NintendoLife (for whatever that's worth). I may have first heard about it because of its original intended (but unrealized) release on as a WiiWare title, but in any case, I ended up playing the Steam version (and made my second mediocre Let's Play series, w00t!).

I didn't really know much about the game, other than its distinctive art style. Other games have used a similar silhouette approach since, but NightSky does still feel pretty unique. The game is a physics-based platformer where you play as a ball that spins through many stages, making use of several abilities along the way. The way that abilities are incorporated is a little off-putting. Rather than giving you an arsenal of abilities to choose from or having you collect them or something like that, the abilities available to you simply changes without warning according to the current puzzle. The main abilities are a grip/brake type of mechanic and a speed up mechanic, but some levels also require you to make use of gadgets in the level that require pressing a button to trigger.

I'm not a big fan of the trial and error that physics-based games require, but for the most part I was able to make good progress. The puzzles are usually not that hard in terms of figuring out what you're supposed to do, but succeeding takes many (at times very many) attempts. While over time I did gain a better feel for how the ball would move, I was never quite able to wrap my head around spinning to the left vs. to the right, but that's probably just due to my general slight problems with things involving left and right. There are also a number of hidden white star exits in every area, which add to the replayability. The special abilities definitely help expand the gameplay, but even so about two third of the way through I felt I'd seen everything and I decided to set it aside. It's a genial game overall, but not one I felt particularly drawn to, but I can see how it would appeal for others.

Sweden really seems to be a fertile ground for indie developers, and developer Nifflas has continued to release games that have been well-received. I'm sure I'll be playing through more of his works again at some point in the future.


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