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This page includes some jargon that hasn't been added to the site's glossary yet. I'll be around to fix this later, but sorry for the inconvenience in the meantime.

Review: Nightsky

At a Glance

This game is recommended!
This game is not just good fun, it also stays fairly true to Christian moral values, making it a great addition to anyone's library!

ESRB Rating: NR - Not Rated
My Rating: Everyone
Genre: Physics Puzzle / Platformer
License: Commercial
Release Year: 2011
Review Published On: December 22nd, 2015
Played on: Martha

Available from:

Humble Store, Steam

Save System:

When you leave a level (either by completing the level, returning to the menu, or by quitting the game) your progress is automatically saved.

Summary of
Major Issues:

There's no offensive content present in this dreamy little game.

Screenshots

[view screenshot]
Navigating some hanging weights

[view screenshot]
These boards are balanced carefully

[view screenshot]
Spinning gears makes this Alternate level hard to navigate



Game Overview

Calling Nightsky a puzzle platformer feels like a bit of a stretch, but that's the closest one can get without coming up with an entirely new genre. After all, the gameplay revolves around rolling an unusual orb through a series of levels, all of which are filled with platforms of some sort. Note that while you can roll the orb around, there isn't a "jump" button -- you'll need to find another way to climb over things.

Each level is three screens long, and once the orb has passed beyond the right-hand boundary of the third screen, the level is over. Getting to the right-hand margin is the tricky part: you'll need to contend with ramps, boxes, hinged floors, hanging baskets, and other obstacles along the way. Most of the time, rolling over or against something will be enough to let you pass, but a level can also allow you to use "powers". What powers are available depends on the level, and they can range from something as simple as being able to roll faster to something as unique as reversing the level's gravity.

Additionally, vehicles appear in some levels. When this happens, rolling around will control the vehicle's gears and wheels, allowing you to drive these "cars" or fly different types of fanciful aircraft.

Overall, this game is very slow and dreamlike. It's a fun little game, but unfortunately, it's also not very challenging; in some cases, there isn't anything interactive on the third screen, leaving you to just roll forward to victory. Thus, this game is probably only going to really appeal to casual gamers.

Points of Interest

Calm, relaxing gameplay
There are no enemies, nor are the levels timed. Everything moves along at your pace, and you can quit and resume at any time. The only risks you'll be taking involve getting stuck in a place you can't roll out of, or falling out of the level.
Alternate mode provides a challenge
There are two campaigns; a normal set of levels for beginners and players that just want to relax, and an extremely hard alternate set for people that want to be challenged. The story, such as it is, will be the same either way and players are encouraged to try beating both modes.
Steam achievements
For those that enjoy collecting them, there are a number of achievements to earn. These aren't very imaginative, simply being awarded for solving all of the levels in a stage, but not everybody can make it through both campaigns to earn the entire set.
Puzzles are often either too easy or too hard
The levels in the normal campaign are very easy. So much so that it almost feels like a slideshow of surreal backgrounds instead of a game. Most of the negative reviews I've seen come from gamers that wanted to be challenged and were disappointed by what little challenge exists in the normal campaign. On the other hand, the alternate campaign is extremely difficult, sometimes to the point of being unfair.
Unexpected objectives
Chances are pretty good that you'll reach the last stage before you discover any of the hidden stars. The problem with this is that in order to enter the last stage, you need to have found all of them! There's no hint that there's more to Nightsky than rolling the ball until you hit the barriers. Many players didn't know they were supposed to be looking for anything until this point, and don't like having to backtrack to find something.
Bug with the ending cutscene
For some odd reason, the Steam version doesn't show the ending cutscene when you complete the final level. Nobody's quite sure why this is, and since what little plot is present is basically an excuse to roll a ball around, a lot of people don't really mind that it's missing.

Concerns and Issues

None really.
When all you do is roll a little ball around, it's somewhat hard to do something controversial or offensive.