by Lord Badger
On Saturday 20th November I travelled down to that there London town to attend the GameDev London Expo. My mission was simple. Find great indie games. What I wasn’t expecting was to be blown away by something incredibly special.
Enter Beyond the Long Night by Noisy Head Games. A rogue-like twin-stick shooter that is quite honestly sublime. Now I only managed to get hands-on with Beyond the Long Night for about 15 mins but the impression it left on me after such a small demo only strengthens my adoration for this game.
Regular viewers of my blog and YouTube channel will know I travel up and down the country (with the occasional foray into Europe) in search of the latest and greatest indie games, interviewing developers and relaying their stories/projects to you wonderful people.
Not every game is fantastic. Some ain’t even good. But every so often I find an absolute gem and that is exactly what Beyond the Long Night is. A pure diamond of a game.
As a general rule of thumb, I hate to compare games to other titles. Simply because indie games are so unique and artistic I feel it is a disservice to highlight another game when I am singing the praises of the developer. However, in this case, I can’t help it.
Beyond the Long, Night looks like Fez and plays like Binding of Issac. Two massive indie games that should be honoured to be mentioned in the same breath as Beyond the Long Night.
The premise of Beyond the Long Night is simple. You start in a subterranean world inside the base of a mountain. Your goal is to reach the top of the mountain and the outside world. Along the way, you will meet a whole host of creatures whose sole aim is to kill you. A medley of strange and interesting characters (even a singing cow!) as you progress through the story.
You will die again and again and again during your adventure. While you start every run fresh with a new loadout and new layout to the subterranean world, the story continues and every character you meet members you and progresses along the story with you.
Beyond the Long Night has a wonderful Pixel art style that (as mentioned above) instantly reminds me of Fez. The implementation of vibrant colours in subdued environments coinciding with the expert use of lighting and shading instantly draw you into Beyond the Long Night.
This expert use of colour and lighting meant that I was instantly dragged into the world of Beyond the Long Night and almost forgot I was in a busy expo hall. I already know that I am going to lose hours of my life to this game when it releases next year.
The control scheme for Beyond the Long Night is so intuitive you don’t even need to think about what you are pressing. I found myself quickly dodging, flying, shooting and unleashing special powers without giving it any conscious thought.
The gameplay varies from room to room. Some rooms have a few enemies that are nice and simple to clear. (each room must be cleared of enemies for the doors to open) whilst other rooms are full of multiple enemies that will have you frantically dodging attacks and running for your life.
Dodging incoming attacks is only part of the problem though. The environment is littered with obstacles such as spikes. A well-timed dodge may help you escape an incoming attack only to lunge headfirst into spikes and kill yourself.
Each attempt to climb the mountain will see you start with a new superpower and layout of the mountain. This means each run is unique from the last. The strategy you use and the gameplay style you enact are dependant on what loadout you have. Some may allow you to go all out and attack. Others may require a more strategic approach.
Along your adventure to the top of the mountain, you will come across puzzles, mysteries, treasure, upgrades lovable characters and so much more
I sat down with the lead developer of Beyond the Long Night to discuss the game more in-depth. The interview can be viewed below:
Whilst it was only a small demo at the show and the constraints of the expo meant I couldn’t spend too much time playing Beyond the Long Night I instantly felt how magical this game is. There is no denying it is going to be huge in 2022. Don’t believe me? try it for yourself. You can get the exact same demo I played here
Noisy Head Games are hoping for a 2022 release but they are going to need some help getting the final product other the line. And that is where you and Kickstarter come in. A modest campaign will launch at the beginning of the new year. You can sign up for notifications now so you don’t miss out on the campaign. I have backed a few Kickstarter campaigns in my time and even ran a hugely successful one. Beyond the Long Night is a no brainer for me. If backing the campaign means I get Beyond the Long Night on my Nintendo Switch then take my money!
I think it is pretty obvious by now that I am going to be keeping an extremely close eye on Beyond the Long Night’s development so expect to see more news and updates from me in the future. In the meantime here are all the links so you can follow the game yourself. Who knows, maybe you can make some suggestions and help the game’s development.
Steam Page: https://store.steampowered.com/app/17…
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