Nintendo eShop Spotlight is a continuing Sunday series in which My Nintendo News takes a look at eShop titles new and old, for both Wii U and 3DS.
It is a testament to the originality of NightSky by Nicalis that even a year after its initial release, there is still nothing else quite like it on Nintendo 3DS. The physics-based puzzle game has players controlling a silhouetted metallic ball, much like a marble, as makes its way across a variety of different types of terrain and obstacles. Players must use a limited number of gameplay mechanics, like speeding up or triggering objects to fall, in order to manipulate the ball’s surroundings and clear just the right path for the ball to proceed.
NightSky is a unique, challenging, and often relaxing experience set to a mellow ambient soundtrack that perfectly captures the game’s slow but intricate pace. Many of NightSky’s environments are set on beaches, forests, or other aesthetically appealing places, and the minimalist graphics, often featuring a perched silhouette of an owl or a muted sunset, are a pleasure to look at. The very slight 3D effects of soft snow falling or a barely-perceivable amount of depth in the terrain only add a subtle sense of wonder to the mood. In addition, the level design is just right, with three short stages, or screens, to every level, and several levels per world. A beautiful prologue introduces the game’s unique narrative, while new levels and a higher difficulty are available after the game’s completion.
With perhaps the exception of a lack of excitement in gameplay and a continuous lull in pacing, there is little to gripe about when it comes to NightSky. Gamers looking for a brisk action title would be advised to look elsewhere, as this game puts a large emphasis on subtlety, mood, and mental challenges. Everything about this game is minimal, right down to the controls, which are fluid and responsive, and perfectly suited to the simplistic nature of the gameplay. In the year that NightSky has existed on the 3DS eShop, it has already proved itself to be a go-to classic for the console. While perhaps not suited to all tastes, NightSky offers a peaceful, intellectual experience that is will worth delving into.