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NightSky (Nintendo 3DS eShop) Review
NightSky on the 3DS
Review by 
8.06/10 from 5 user ratings
 
In 2009, Nicalis announced that they were publishing a Nifflas physics-based puzzle game on exclusively on WiiWare titled Night. The title was later changed to NightSky and never saw the light of day on WiiWare. Instead, the game was published on Steam in 2011 and announced for the 3DS eShop the same year. Finally, the game saw release on a Nintendo platform on October 25, 2012. Was it worth the wait?


Trailer for the PC game.

The goal of NightSky is simple enough. You control a black sphere and have to guide it through a series of dreams. Each dream consists of three screens, and there are thirteen dreams in a level. If you die (which you will), you'll restart from the beginning of the dream that you're working on.

Roll a ball, huh? Easy enough, right? Not so fast. There are plenty of obstacles in your way ranging from ramps to boulders, icy terrain to dangling platforms. You’ll have to roll the sphere over ravines or knock over objects to form bridges to advance. Fortunately, there are a few tricks that you have at your disposal to get from point A to point B.

First off, you can hold the A button to accelerate while moving left or right, and that lets the sphere move faster and get more height on those tricky jumps. Speed sounds good, but sometimes you need a bit more control. Hold the B button to brake when you need more precision, and this also has the sphere gripping onto whatever object it’s currently sitting on. Depending on the dream, holding the B button will also reverse gravity, which can make for some interesting puzzle sequences. In some dreams, one of the buttons may be disabled, and that includes the d-pad.


Roll to the top, but how?

Then there are the vehicles. Some are flying contraptions, some are car-like vehicles, and some are just plain weird. They all control very differently (and are each explained in-game), so I won’t even attempt to go into how each one controls. Most of the puzzle aspects of these dreams are trying to figure out how to get the vehicle moving the way you want it to. As a whole, these were my least favorite parts of NightSky, although some of the vehicles were fun to mess around with.

Some dreams house secret stars. If there’s one present in your current dream, a black star with a white outline will be present on the bottom screen. The stars aren’t visible. No sir. They’re hidden in crevices that are often hard to get to and require planning, good timing, or both. There are twelve stars to be found, and they unlock dreams in the final stage.

A lot of people describe NightSky as an atmospheric game, and for good reason. It’s very relaxing when you turn up the sound…breezes, acoustic guitars, and simple sound effects just get the job done. The environments are all in black which can make navigating tricky at times, but the color in the background gives the game a charming, beautiful look. The 3D doesn’t need to be on to enjoy the game, but it does enhance the atmosphere in my opinion.


One of the many contraptions you'll have to master.

NightSky has two difficulty settings. Even with that, the game can be beaten relatively quickly (I found every star and beating every dream on both difficulties took me just under nine hours). The puzzles can be tricky, but not maddeningly difficult. For $9.99, I would have liked more, but I was satisfied with it in the end. I highly recommend it if you want a relaxing puzzle game.

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Posted: 01/06/13, 01:17:59  - Edited by 
 on: 03/03/13, 05:43:24    
 
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Thanks for the review!

I really would like to play this game. Its not the price that is stopping me, its my backlog. I've just bought waaay too many games that I have not even started playing. Yea, I'm pathetic.Seriously though, sometimes I think maybe I'm just tired of playing videogames. I know thats not the case cause most of my free time is keeping up with games by reading reviews, watching videos ect. Its just the actual act of sitting down and playing the game. Its like I just don't feel like taking the time to play the game. Not sure what my major malfunction is.


Posted by 
 on: 01/06/13, 09:58:03
The vehicles probably were the weak point, but I'm still glad that they were in there, it helped mix things up a bit.

I actually ended up really liking this game. It grows on you, and the remixed playthrough mode is pretty darn tough.


Posted by 
 on: 01/06/13, 10:20:17
@Zero

Me too. I felt like their controls often hindered my progress, but it was only for a sequence, not the whole dream. It did change up the gameplay though, so that was good.


Posted by 
 on: 01/06/13, 19:01:10
Played it whenever it came out on PC. I thought it was a great indie game, fun puzzle design and great aesthetic. Nice review!


Posted by 
 on: 01/06/13, 19:03:10
I really enjoyed the vehicles, actually. I thought they were pretty clever and fun to control.

I enjoyed the game overall, but I'm not sure I'm up for the Alternative mode. I liked the breezy feel of the regular game.


Posted by 
 on: 01/07/13, 22:25:54
This game has intrigued me since I first knew of it as a WiiWare game. The atmosphere of the game sounds great. Gameplay sounds interesting based on how you described the control, Lewis. Nice review!


Posted by 
 on: 01/08/13, 02:48:36
I can see how this game can be visually relaxing! Thoughts of staring at a "Hawaiian landscape at sundown" on my parents wall when I was younger surround me. That bottom picture makes me wanna mow the grass, sit on a lawn chair, relaxing, holding hands with Nikki, drinking a root beer as the sun goes down, and all you hear is gentle sounds in the distance *an icy glare out the window at snowbanks follows* *sigh*)! ..Ahem; without the serene atmosphere and accompanying music, do you think the game would be significantly more stressful?

And I know you said you didn't really want to mention it, but what makes the contraptions so difficult to master? Do they not play by the rules? Are they all very cumbersome? That flying machine there with the balloon hat: what is its deal?


Posted by 
 on: 01/08/13, 08:06:12
@Guillaume

They weren't all bad and it did change the pace of gameplay up a bit, but I could have lived without them.

Alternative mode wasn't too bad. You'll die more, but meh.

@Mr_Mustache

With that specific vehicle, I believe you press B to get it to jump (see the two feet that it's resting on) and then you just move it to the right. I think...I don't remember honestly.

To me, the vehicles broke up the flow of the gameplay. They all behaved differently control-wise and a few were tough to figure out. I'm pretty sure I got lucky getting a couple of them to go where I wanted them to go. Once you master said vehicle, you're through with the sequence and back to being just a sphere again, and I'm pretty sure the vehicles don't show up again after you're done with them..


Posted by 
 on: 01/08/13, 16:08:49
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