EarthNight For Nintendo Switch Review
Developed By: CleaverSoft
Published By: CleaverSoft
EarthNight is an illustrated epic 2D platformer about the dragon apocalypse, and a love letter to classic arcade games.
In EarthNight, Dragons have invaded earth and you are the last hope for humanity. Help Sydney and Stanley crush the Dragon onslaught on your journey to the planet’s surface.
EarthNight is a 2D side-scrolling platformer with rogue-lite elements thrown in. It’s also an auto-runner, meaning you don’t have complete control over your characters movements.
This is not to say you lack control over your chosen hero. Once you land on a dragons back you are off and running. Simply pushing forward or pulling back (right and left on analogue stick respectively), controls your run speed. Then jumping is as simple as pressing B.
Right from the off you have two heroes to choose from, which are vastly different from each other;
Sydney – A young girl. She is faster and more nimble. Favouring traversal and air time, you have various mid-air moves you can pull off. Aside from B to jump, Sydney has a double jump. Whilst airborne she can glide forward with A and glide downward with Y. All these extra moves really help to cover ground and take out enemies from above.
Stanley – A much older gentleman that’s a little rough around the edges. Stanley is the polar opposite of Sydney. He feels much slower and heavier, yet has a higher and longer jump. He can also thwart enemies on the go with his sword and has a cool stomp move he can perform. Simply holding down on the analogue stick as you fall.
It’s fair to say then that there’s something for everyone’s playstyle.
EarthNight is built with lots of short runs in mind, making this a pick-up-and-play in short bursts style of game. Whilst you will die a lot, it’s worth mentioning that you do keep all the loot you find on each run. This loot is then converted to water, which is the games central currency.
With all this water, you are able to use it to buy power-ups from the store or upgrade your ships water tank. The game is pretty challenging from the start and you’ll find making progress difficult. However, those that stick with it will soon realise that as you gather more scrap and loot the easier it’ll become.
All this scrap bouncing around on screen isn’t just for show you know. With each run you’ll be unlocking more and more power-ups which will aid you in your journey to earth.
Speaking of the journey. EarthNight will see you skydive from your spaceship and fall to the blue planet, progressing through 5 layers of atmosphere, such as the Mesosphere and Chemosphere, to name but a few.
Each layer has its own style of dragons, music and enemies to help keep things fresh. Your aim, once you land on a dragon, is to progress from its tail to its head, where you’ll have your chance to kill it. Killing a dragon not only yields a boost to your water stock but also a valuable dragon part.
EarthNight has some beautifully hand painted art work. Right from the beginning, you are given the story in a comic book fashion, complete with panels, which is also semi-animated.
The enemies are varied, and the dragons themselves are well animated and look satisfyingly intimidating.
Audio design is also a highlight of EarthNight. Whilst primarily consisting of upbeat chiptunes, you get to choose from full band, chiptune or random from the options menu. The dragon battle music is also suitably epic, providing you an adrenaline rush right up to that killing blow.
EarthNight is a great little platform runner, which you can pickup and play whenever you get some time to put in a few runs. Visuals are beautiful and audio fits the style of game very well.
Some, naturally, may find this style of game a little repetitive, though it’s worth noting that each run is procedurally generated to help keep things fresh.
Those that aren’t acquainted to the rinse and repeat focused games may struggle to get into it and find it difficult. Though stick with it and it will become easier as you unlock more power-ups.
Another aspect of the game that might trip a few people up is the health system. Naturally getting hit by an enemy will deplete your health until you are killed, inturn, ending your run. Unfortunately, there are no in-game health pickups here. The only way to regain some much needed health is to kill 5 enemies in succession. Then each subsequent kill will regen more health.
Sadly I did notice some very obvious slow-down. This was particularly apparent when the screen became more cluttered with enemies and scrap. This was a real shame, as EarthNight is quite a high-octane platformer/runner which requires lots of skill and timing.
Price wise, at £12.59/$14.99 it is a little on the high side for what can be a very short experience for the more hardcore gamer. Casual gamers on the other hand can expect to get anywhere from 5 to 10 hours gameplay.
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Reviewed by micramanic on the Nintendo Switch. Game provided by CleaverSoft.