Cubed3 Nintendo gaming, Wii and DS

NyxQuest: Kindred Spirits (WiiWare) Review

Review for NyxQuest: Kindred Spirits on WiiWare - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

NyxQuest: Kindred Spirits is indie developer Over The Top Games' debut title for WiiWare, or indeed any platform. Previously known as Icarian, it follows the story of Nyx - a winged female who descends from the heavens in search of her mortal companion Icarus. Greek mythology and platforming abound, but is it worth your time?

Comparisons to Frontier Games' Lost Winds are inevitable - both are independently developed platformers featuring 3D graphics on a 2D plane (though the style and tone of each are vastly different), and both use the Wii remote for a variety of interesting purposes. That's not to say that NyxQuest is derivative to a fault, though. It is, in fact, refreshingly innovative in the way it expounds on a few simple gameplay mechanics to create an endearing experience that never overstays its welcome. Three hours might seem pitifully brief, but as games like Lost Winds and Portal have proven, quality is often more important than quantity.

The game's bread and butter: running and jumping (and gliding) are all pleasingly responsive; laying the groundwork for additional mechanics which are introduced gradually as you progress. You're not immediately presented with a way to combat enemies, for example, forcing you to evade them at first. Before long, though, you'll be given the power to grab fireballs out of the air (using the Wii remote as a pointer) and launch them at hostiles. Each time you're given such a new power (by the Gods, no less) you'll be treated to a series of increasingly complex puzzles to test your mastery, reflexes, and ability to perform multiple actions simultaneously.

Arguably the most satisfying ability is the one which allows you to interact with the world around you (certain parts of it, at least) to bypass obstacles and create new paths. The scorching desert sand that lies on the floor of each level is deadly to the touch, and a common task is to safely cruise across its surface using a fallen pillar. By pointing at moveable objects such as the pillar, holding the B trigger, and moving the Wii remote around it's possible to drag objects around and even launch some in the air. Surfing across the screen is a simple prospect, but it's one of the many little pleasures that make NyxQuest such a joy to play.

To help mix things up, NyxQuest features a selection of boss encounters, most of which require you to deftly dodge projectiles or charging minions with jumps and glides while fighting back with your own offensive abilities. The final story stage takes this concept to the extreme, challenging you to race through a maze of enemies, moving platforms, and other obstacles while deftly shooting fireballs that are raining down from the sky in a frantic battle for survival. The culminating experience proves to be an excellent conclusion to the game, despite being a fairly significant change in pace compared to the rest of the adventure.

Screenshot for NyxQuest: Kindred Spirits on WiiWare - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Gameplay

The core platforming mechanics are solid, and the gradually-introduced God powers work brilliantly.

Graphics

The visual style and setting are charming, and each level looks gorgeous, if a little repetitive at times.

Sound

The music composed by Steven Gutheinz masterfully embellishes the game's unique atmosphere.

Value

Around three hours of content, including a bonus stage unlocked by collecting items. No real replay value.

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

About this score
Rated 8 out of 10

NyxQuest is a unique platformer that should appeal to anyone who enjoyed Frontier Games' Lost Winds. Indie developer Over The Top Games has done a fantastic job fusing gorgeous visuals and a masterful soundtrack with solid and satisfying gameplay mechanics that are put to great use in a selection of rewarding puzzles. You won't spend more than a few hours playing, but you might just enjoy every minute.

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15.09.2009

5

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Developer

Over The Top

Publisher

Over The Top

Genre

Puzzle

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  10/10 (6 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Reader comments - add yours today Comments on this Review

There are no replies to this review yet. Why not be the first?

Do you know how many points this is? Despite the brilliance of World of Goo, the 1500pt price tag is putting the purchase off for me. Icarian looks brilliant, but I wouldn't allow myself to spend more than 800 points on it.

PMD said:
Do you know how many points this is? Despite the brilliance of World of Goo, the 1500pt price tag is putting the purchase off for me. Icarian looks brilliant, but I wouldn't allow myself to spend more than 800 points on it.

Then you're missing out on it big time. World of Goo could have been 2500 points and really worth it. That game is big, stylish, plays originally, has tons of atmosphere, and rocks on wii like no tomorrow - the other platforms pale in comparison.

This one is 1000 wii points, and though I've yet to buy it, looks like a whole lot of fun. Stop mentally setting price points and you're opening whole new doors for yourself Smilie

Its an exceedingly fun game. It may be a bit of a rip off from Lost Winds but I would say that its actually the better game by far.
If you liked Lost Winds this is definetly worth a purchase.
Its my third favourite WiiWare game next to World of Goo and swords and soldiers.

-Have you any idea what it's like to be a Fembot living in a Manbot's Manputer's world?
-What?

Nyxquest is awesome!
I can't wait for Max & the Magic Marker though.
Max & the Magic Marker
That has got to be the next World of Goo!

Lucky for you, Bracko, we'll have a hands-on preview of that very soon...Smilie

I really need to give NyxQuest a shot - nice one Karn.

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