EarthNight is a beautiful hand drawn Rogue-like/platformer/runner from Cleaversoft that whilst incredibly simple will slowly but surely sink it’s talons deep into you and have you hooked.
The “one more go” addictive gameplay is intertwined with amazing hand drawn graphics and complimented with music that can only be described as ear-worm. Seriously you will find yourself humming the tune at 11 am on Sunday morning whilst walking round your local supermarket nursing a major hangover.
Dragons have taken the earth and humans have given up the fight. Well, everyone except our two heroes of course. Stanley and Sydney are aboard a spaceship high above the earth and they have a plan, and more importantly the skills, to reclaim the earth!
Race along the backs of space dragons as one of two playable characters: Stanley, a freelance photographer turned sword-wielding dragon slayer, or Sydney, a girl with ethereal superpowers.
Vanquish the serpentine beasts by racing along their backs, running and leaping through a gauntlet of foes in a mad dash for the serpents’ vulnerable heads. Gather supplies and trade trophies collected from felled dragons to unlock new powers while fighting to reclaim your home.
EarthNight has a wonderful mash-up of game mechanics. Each level sees you racing across the back of a giant dragon in a marriage of platformer meets runner.
Which ever character you choose to play as they constantly run from left to right as the level unfolds. There is no way to stop, you can only speed up or slow down as well as utilising each characters unique jumping skills.
Whilst running across the back of a dragon you will come across multiple platforms to jump on, loot to be collected and enemies to be stomped on. All culminating in the finale of reaching the dragons head and slaying the giant space beast.
Whilst on the first couple of run’s of EarthNight the game seems incredibly simple. Stick with it for a short while and it soon becomes apparent than rather than just jumping from platform to platform or jumping upon an enemy there is a deeper more demanding game beneath the surface.
It soon becomes apparent that falling rather than jumping is the most important aspect of EarthNight. Being able to judge your fall and decide when to drop naturally or speed up the fall can make a massive difference to the level and even your success.
When you have taken one too many hits and your health drops to zero you don’t actually die. Your ship conveniently flies in at the last second to rescue you.
This is where the rogue-lite elements come into play in EarthNight. Once back aboard your ship all the loot you collected during your run is converted into litres of water (you are in space after all) which can then be used to purchase upgrades to help you out in future runs.
These upgrades introduce a wide range of abilities into EarthNight such as double jump boots, a sword to kill enemies with to mind control potion that enables you to ride a charging bull. No I am not going to add any context at all….moving along.
Every inch of EarthNight is hand drawn and it looks beautiful. The vibrancy and colour is a joy to behold. From the muted colours to the almost garish palettes of later dragons.
One of the most beautiful scenes in Earthnight is falling through the atmosphere and seeing the dragons intertwine beneath you as you pass through the changing layers of the planets atmosphere.
The art style is so impressive in the intro scene that if it was a comic book that told the story of how the dragons took over the earth and where they came from. I would genuinely buy if it.
EarthNight is ashining example of a great and creative indie game. It takes multiple, simple mechanics and seemlessly blends them together into a smooth and addictive gameplay experience.
You will constantly find yourself having “just one more go” or find yourself tracking just how many litres you need to upgrade your water tank.
Whilst EarthNight is single player only and is great game. Playing with friends in a sort of “two runs and pass the pad along” agreement it becomes a wonderful social game.
The amount of fun i have had over the holiday period with friends sat around cursing, screaming and encouraging each other on as truly been one of the best gaming experiences I have had in a long time.