A land full of light has been plunged into darkness. The Sun Gem has been broken in two. "Perhaps these hopes were misplaced," laments the narration. So begins Soluna, a platform game with a retro aesthetic that oozes artistic mastery. The creators at Diestware prove they know how to set a mood in this minimalist narrative, using simple controls and a simple color palette to tell a story that sneaks into your head and stays there. You play an unnamed warrior who must reunite the pieces of the Sun Gem and bring light back to your darkened home. Use the [arrow] keys to move, jump and cling to ledges, and use the [S] key to attack the foes you find along the way. You'll also encounter friends holding spears that you can speak to with [A] who give you hints and nods at a greater mythology of the Soluna universe. All of this adds up to an engrossing browser experience.
Simplicity isn't necessarily a negative in and of itself, but the one button combat isn't as balanced as it could be. You might find yourself avoiding enemies rather than engaging them. The Ocarina of Time-style boss battle offers more variety, having you knock energy blasts back at your foe, and timing and reflexes are a must. Beyond that, it's all about exploring the weird, dark world you're plopped in the middle of, like a film noir Knytt. The levels have a great vertical span, meaning there's plenty of climbing, jumping and falling to get where you need to go. There's something weirdly satisfying about watching enemies tumble into blackness when they try to leap between two platforms in vain. It might be a bit minimal, but Soluna offers enough mood and challenge to keep browser game fans engaged.