Ready for another game of ambiance and intrigue from Nifflas? NightSky is the latest release from the designer/artist known for creating enchanting atmospheric settings in his games, and this one certainly doesn't disappoint. It's simpler and more streamlined than Knytt Stories, but there's no shortage of challenge or variety to be had!
NightSky puts you in control of a rolling orb with a few special powers at its disposal. Puzzles take place on one (sometimes more) screen and connect directly to the next area. All you have to do is make it from one end to the other. Depending on the puzzle, your abilities will be different, allowing you to stop your movement or dash with the simple press of a button. You'll also get to use more interesting techniques like reversing gravity or removing marked gates, though these are used more sparingly.
You'll have to contend with a lot of physics-based obstacles, such as blocks on chains and swinging levers. The main challenge, though, is getting the ball up and through passageways, as each room is carefully tailored to make you think about your trajectory. Sometimes you'll have to hit a ramp at just the right speed, other times it's a hairpin stop you'll have to pull off. Either way, failure is part of the experience, and you'll start most levels over half a dozen times before you get it right. Fortunately the game's soothing soundtrack (provided by Chris Schlarb) keeps frustration at bay, and you couldn't possibly get angry at a game this minimalistically beautiful.
Analysis: Right from the intro, you know you're playing a Nifflas game. If you've been following his releases for some time, it's easy to see where inspiration from NightSky came from. It's got the simplicity of Knytt mixed with the puzzles (and, heck, the protagonist, sort of) from Within a Deep Forest. All of this is wrapped in the deliciously zen audio visual package we expect from this developer. In short: NightSky is exactly what you want it to be, complete with challenge, replayability, and mood.
From the beginning you can choose between normal and advanced modes, the former offering more tutorials and simpler puzzles (think "casual"), while the latter offers more challenge and less hand holding. It's best to start with normal mode, no matter how good you are at physics games, as this one eases you into NightSky at the perfect pace. When you've beaten the game's ten worlds, feel free to go back and get challenged!
NightSky isn't a terribly long game by any means, but the amount of content feels perfect. On the surface, the puzzles aren't anything new, but each time you hit a brick wall (figuratively, of course) you'll grin and go "aah, I see what you did there". Then it's off to experiment to see how you can make it through the level.
Let's make this simple for everyone: NightSky. It's from the creator of Knytt. You want to play it. Go!