EarthNight – Review
Follow Genre: Runner
Developer: Cleaversoft
Publisher: Cleaversoft
Platforms: Switch, PC, Mac OS, PS Vita
Tested on: Switch

EarthNight – Review

Site Score
8.5
Good: Graphics are beautiful, The Chiptune soundtrack is magnificent
Bad: Gameplay can be hampered due to frame drops and bad hitboxes.
User Score
9.4
(7 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.4/10 (7 votes cast)

Dragons are majestic creatures and most people know this species from legendary tales and children’s books. Recently, dragons have been gaining popularity thanks to movies and videogames. Now as long as they are friendly, they seem like a good thing, but what if they turn their backs on us? In EarthNight this is exactly what happens as the dragons take over the Earth and you must defeat them to ensure survival of our planet.

Story

The little storyline that is present in EarthNight is short and sweet. Dragons have been sighted all over our planet and while they initially seemed friendly, they quickly turned hostile towards humans and have taken over the Earth. After the initial counter-attacks, all hope seems lost and the people just gave up. Well, most people that is, as our protagonists Sydney the fierce lady and Stanley the hipster and their friend Dave the appraiser, try to fight back. Dave runs the ship and helps you with your fight against the invaders.

After the intro, there isn’t much story to go by. You just go into the different atmospheres and defeat dragons. There is no story flow which isn’t that horrible since the game is quite hard to beat and there seems to be an endless wave of dragons, so the fight will continue for many days on end.

Graphics

The first thing that you will notice is how beautiful the graphics are. Sceneries are astonishing and each dragon has its own background. Since there are more than a handful of different species, you will notice different biomes and styles that represent each color. The characters are nicely made and while the animations are simple, the charm that it emits makes up for all of it. There is a clear difference between the 2D characters in the stages and the 3D dragons flying in the background. The whole mix between the two styles gives the game even more charm while the music keeps you in this arcade setting.

Sound

Immediately when starting the game you are greeted by perfect Chiptune music. If you ever played Scott Pilgrim VS the World you will know what a good soundtrack does to a game. The music brings you in this arcade mood that accentuates the gameplay perfectly and it is just sweet to play on the background. Transitions also have different tracks that play on your senses and give a moment of calm right before throwing you back into action. The music is great and plays pretty loudly, kicking your senses into overdrive. The sound effects that are in the game remind you of the old games and the Midi tunes that were used back then. Overall, it’s a great trip down memory lane.

Gameplay

EarthNight is a runner game in which you must traverse the atmosphere of the Earth, mount dragons, defeat them and make the world a safer place. Earth has been taken over by evil dragons and most people gave up on fighting them. It is but a group of three that tries to take the matter in their own hands and save humanity from these giant creatures. You can play as either the heroine Sydney (that is an amazing starting character since she has a handful of moves) or the hipster Stanley that is harder at first but once you unlock more items, he becomes a viable option.

Each run consists of you slaying dragons, grabbing items and gathering water. Since the game is a runner title, you don’t really choose where to go, you can only adjust your speed and jump. At first, this can be quite hard to pick up but thankfully, Sydney has a bunch of special moves up her skirt that will make it easier for the player to start. When jumping and defeating small enemies, you will collect parts and loot, that get converted into water. Water is the most essential currency that is used in trading ever since the dragons took over. Dr. Dave has an upgrade shop that will grant you items that can be picked up during runs to make life easier for old Stanley.

When the head of the dragon is reached, you must attack it. The best method is by charging the attack and delivering a few hefty blows right on the nape. When you have dealt enough damage, the beast will be terminated and you can collect a vital part from it. Each atmosphere ring has different kinds of dragons and their parts can be used to unlock new items. You can choose what dragon to attack to either make your run easier or to kill at least one of each color.

The game seems pretty hard at first, and here come a few minor frustrations about the game. The hitboxes of enemies seem a bit iffy; sometimes you hit them just right, sometimes they hit you instead. Health is pretty limited (or you play on the assisted mode that doubles health) and gaining health is only done by chaining a combo of five kills without hitting the ground. The latter seems tricky and is even harder with the high camera angle while jumping so frustrations can arise when being hammered by enemies. After completing the first atmospheric ring, you think completion is possible and then you get to the second stage and the difficulty is immensely ramped up. You’ll notice that mobs become more aggressive and have stronger attacks, making you nervous about the things to come. Another issue is the frame drops, which at first only happen during the loading screens, but eventually flow into the gameplay as well. This can cause some frustration as the game is all about smooth transitions.

Controlling the game can be a bit iffy if you have never played runner games. You can only jump and while Sidney has some better moves, it can still be really frustrating to try and dodge enemies, only to fly into others. However, that’s a runner game and you must learn its mechanics; it is pretty challenging but not impossible.

Conclusion

EarthNight is a beautifully made game with a powerful and loveable soundtrack that feels nostalgic thanks to the Chiptune music. The gameplay is hard to pick up but once you played the game a few times, it is a pretty joyful title to play through. There isn’t much story to the game, which isn’t a big nightmare since it will take you quite some time to reach the higher levels. The hand-drawn graphics are what makes this game very pleasing to look at but sadly, there are frame drops that can hamper the gameplay and the annoying hitboxes can cause some serious frustration.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.4/10 (7 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
EarthNight – Review, 9.4 out of 10 based on 7 ratings
MC_JP
MC_JP


Never give up on a dream. It might be a long nightmare, but one day it will change into a beautiful reality - MC_JP 2014

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