NightSky™ Review

By , on March 18, 2013
Last modified 11 years, 2 months ago

Download on the AppStore
5 out of 5


  • Serene and picturesque presentation.
  • The tilt controls just work for the game (but there are other options).
  • Levels are quick and to the point.


  • Physics can be a little wonky sometimes.


This iOS port takes an interesting game and makes it shine thanks to the tilt controls.

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It's amazing how controls can affect a game. Dave played Nightsky on the PC, and while using the arrow keys to move the orb was adequate, there was something lacking, and the whole experience didn't really leave a lasting impression. Now we have the iOS port, and with the addition of tilt controls (as well as other options), this atmospheric simple physics journey starts to really shine.

The game starts with the player finding a mysterious orb on the beach. As you would, he takes the orb back home with him, but then starts to have the strangest dreams. These visions are where the game takes place. We don't know where the orb is headed or why it wants to get there, but it's our job as the player to help it on its way. Each level is only a couple screens, usually introducing or including one element of the game. The tilt controls are the recommended method (although the game starts in swipe mode), and tilting the phone rolls the orb right or left. There is a lot of nuance in the tilting for when you need to be more exact in your movements. The x in the left hand corner aids this by acting as a brake, while the o in the right corner changes based on what the level calls for. Sometimes it speeds you up, sometimes it reverses gravity. Little changes like this, including small elements of physics puzzles make the game feel different in subtle ways from stage to stage.

But it's the atmosphere that is the most striking element. The game seems to exist in perpetual sunset, with dull yet beautiful colors washing the backgrounds, contrasting the stark black of the playing field. The music is ambient, invoking a peaceful play state, yet perhaps a sense of unease.

For those who breeze through the main game, there's an alternative mode with harder puzzles, that basically creates a unique second playthrough. It really is astonishing how changing the control method completely changed perception of the game, but perhaps not. The way we interact with these game worlds is very important. It took a port, but Nightsky got it right, and those looking for a short, yet simple intriguing experience would do well to give this a try. It might surprise you.


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