Having gotten a glimpse a while back of NightSky, which was being developed for WiiWare from Nicalis, I was very interested in how the game would turn out and kept an close eye out for it. Unfortunately, the game never made it on WiiWare, but fortunately for gamers, Nicalis instead decided to bring it over to the eShop for the Nintendo 3DS.
Now the game has a very moderate storyline, in that a boy comes across a glowing sphere/ball on the beach and mesmerized by its aura, you decide to take it home with you. As the game kicks off, you are in control of the sphere, as you make it roll across each of the multiple areas that are spread across ten main levels. Depending on the puzzle, you are able to either slow the sphere down, speed it up, eliminate gravity or activate some action on-screen. Now the entire game is physics-based, so you’ll have to be weary of every maneuver, as well as the consequences of each action, as some of the puzzles span more than one screen, so you’ll need to at times start from scratch. Perhaps a rolling boulder that you accidentally nudged, ends up blocking your way on another screen, or the speed in which you jumped, ends up being either too much or too little for the upcoming platform on another screen. NightSky really does force you to think about everything you do.
Being on the 3DS, the game does use 3D effects, but it uses it subtly as to not overdo it, simply bringing to life objects or animals in the background that expands the world past the platforms and environments in your immediate line of sight. Though the game also uses a soft touch of color, the majority of the game is presented with silhouettes something akin to Limbo or World of Goo. In fact, after a few levels, I immediately started to compare NightSky to a marriage between Limbo and the old NES game Marble Madness…believe me, that is a good thing.
The game’s music is also subtle, but effective. It’s both soothing and not distracting, as to keep you focused on the task at hand. In fact, sometimes the music is so quiet, that you forget it’s even there, but also helps you to relax when it’s present. Gamers will also find hidden stars throughout each level but they are often difficult to find, so you’ll need to play through again or come back to a previous screen even after solving a puzzle to try and figure out where it is. Finding all the stars will unlock an eleventh level, while even the ending credits serve as an extra level – I loved it.
Though the 3DS has it’s fair share of cool games on the eShop, this is easily one of my favorite games on the service and am happy that Nicalis decided to bring it over. Gamers would be doing a disservice to themselves if they didn’t pick this one up right this second.