Games / PC

Indy Gems – Nightsky

A lot of independent games don’t have any ways to get much of traction. The only way a lot of people even find out they exist is through word of mouth. With my Indy Gems feature, I want to highlight some independent games that you’ve probably never heard of before.

Today I’m starting with a beautiful puzzle game called Nightsky.

The experience of Nightsky is begins and ends with the beautiful ambiance that is prevalent through the whole game. Nightsky is very quiet and calm; generally a relaxing way to pass the time. The puzzles never really try to destroy your brain (though they do increase in difficulty as you progress) but they’re just clever enough to fill you with a certain thrill every time you solve one. When I started playing it I ended up staying at my computer screen for about 45 minutes longer than I had anticipated. I had no idea what Nightsky had to offer, but it turned out to be exactly what I love. Nightsky is a place that you’ll want to stay as soon as you find your way into it.

The game itself is pretty straightforward. You control a marble, and your goal is to roll your way to the screen’s exit. It’s a pretty little 2D physics based platformer. As you progress through each screen, you’re tasked with solving puzzles either by simply rolling through, or using the abilities that are given to you. Different powers are given to your marble depending on the situation. Sometimes you’ll gain the ability to accelerate the ball to high speeds in order to fly past obstacles or speed through ramps or any number of clever uses. A favorite ability of mine is being able to flip the gravity in the room, it may not be the most original idea for a puzzle game, but its always fun to have the power to send things flying through space. The simplicity early on really encourages you to play through just one more screen, eventually pushing yourself to play through entire levels in one sitting just to see what comes next. You always know that with a little effort you’ll be able to figure out what to do, and rolling the little marble through the puzzle-y (puzzlicious?) obstacle courses is too fun to stop.

Nightsky knows that it does one things and it does it very well. There aren’t secret paths to discover, and you don’t collect dozens of hidden items. Your goal is to get to the right side of the screen while being in a beautifully crafted environment. As a big fan of platformers, sometimes simplicity is the best route to take. Nightsky is unique and something you should really give a chance. A very short, sweet experience like this can be a wonderful breath of fresh air from our 600 hour RPGs and explosive blockbuster shooters. When you’re in the mood for a gentle flow of entertainment that doesn’t try to tax you to your limits, you should really look into Nightsky.

-Zach

Nightsky Website: http://www.nicalis.com/nightsky/

Image Source: igf.com

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