NyxQuest, a stylish side-scrolling WiiWare platformer brought to iOS by Over The Top Games and published by Chillingo, is now available from the app store. Combining beautiful graphics, fun flying/gliding mechanics, and interactive environmental elements, NyxQuest offers a nice mix of puzzle and platformer that’s good clean fun for the whole family.
- Beautiful presentation with stylish, polished graphics
- Soundtrack offers pleasing complement to theme and gameplay
- Simple control scheme
- Hidden relics to find and lots of interactive elements to manipulate
- Crystal integration for leaderboards and achievements
- Some control issues involving unresponsiveness of direction buttons while flying
- On-screen buttons can block interactive elements
Nyx is a young winged woman who was discovered in the heavens by Icarus on one of his famed flights. They became enamored with one another and, when Icarus ultimately melted his wings and fell back to Earth, Nyx disobeyed the gods and went after him. We join her on her quest through ancient Greece as she seeks out her beloved among the ruins. She treks through a dozen levels atop various platforms, such as large blocks of sand, wooden planks, pedestals, and more, avoiding the sandy terrain that burns her. She must avoid a number of harmful obstacles, like beds of thorns, falling columns, fireballs , hovering hairpies, and sand spouts. She moves around by running or flying, though her airborne abilities are limited. She can only flap her wings 5 times before she must touch down to recharge. Fortunately, she can glide for a short distance after any flap if you hold your finger on-screen, allowing her to gain ground and float across gaps. She can also push items by walking against them, moving blocks or knocking vases from great heights to access any items inside when they break from their fall.
Additionally, the gamer can interact directly with glowing objects in order to move blocks, raise/lower pedestals, redirect fireballs, halt falling columns, etc. This usually involves a dragging motion from the object to its desired location. Nyx can even ride on objects as you move them around. Her health is represented by a heart in the upper corner of the screen, and she loses a piece each time she’s hurt. Being crushed by a column will instantly kill her. She’ll need to restart the level unless she passes by and lights the blue flame of a handful of cauldrons, which act as checkpoints. It’s a fairly forgiving title, in that you don’t have to worry about timers, lives, or anything like that. Just keep pressing forward and solving puzzles to progress and move the story along. This makes it approachable even for the youngest gamers. For the rest of us, making good level time is encouraged, as your completion time is compared against other gamers on global leaderboards.
Graphically, NyxQuest has a high-quality look, with terrific shading and particle effects that add a nice level of realism. While Nyx is a bit on the tiny side, it’s easy to see which direction she’s facing and where she needs to go, though some of the background objects can be mistaken for foreground items, causing us to fall to the sand instead of landing safely on a platform that was never there. There doesn’t appear to be any ability to pan or zoom out, making it a dicey proposition to drop off of a platform when you don’t know if the terrain below is safe or not. The audio is crisp and clear, providing a great complement to the visuals that provides the player with a well-rounded presentation. Controls are easy to use, with left/right buttons for movement and an action button that controls flying/gliding. Their translucency allows you to maintain a nice view of the gaming area, but we did have some issues with responsiveness of the direction buttons while flying. Additionally, the movement buttons occasionally overlay interactive items that we were trying to move, requiring us to do a bit of a dance to reposition ourselves in order to grab the item with our finger and move it. While not gamebreaking by any stretch, the control issues were consistent enough to cause frustration. The iPad version suffers from some of the same maladies, but not to the point that the iPhone version does, due to its roomier nature.
Replay value is decent, as the game’s style alone is worth another playthrough. There are a handful of hidden relics to seek out and collect, as well. Crystal integration brings global leaderboards for level times and a bunch of achievements, too. At a more than fair price point of $0.99 (or $2.99 for the HD version), NyxQuest is an outstanding value worthy of a 4.5-Dimple mark.