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NyxQuest: Kindred Spirits Review

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On 09/23/2009 at 01:07 AM by Neal Ronaghan

Show me the fever, into the fire, taking it higher and higher!

It's short, but anybody who enjoys slow-paced puzzle platformers must buy this.

Let's get one thing out of the way first: This isn't like Kid Icarus. Despite the fact that the original name of NyxQuest: Kindred Spirits (Icarian: Kindred Spirits) is similar to Nintendo's long dormant franchise, Spanish developer Over the Top Games' debut game has little in common with Kid Icarus besides the subject matter.

Taking place in a Greek mythological world, NyxQuest follows the winged angel Nyx on her quest (get it?) to save her human friend Icarus, who has had his wax wings melted by the hot sun. There are numerous references to Greek mythology scattered throughout the game, including landmarks (Argos, Corinth), enemies (Harpies, Hydra), and relics (The Golden Fleece and more). While most of this is just background, it helps makes the game world fully realized. Adding to that is the music, which is usually peaceful and fits with the game's slower pace. It ramps up as the action does, and really adds to the mood and setting.

The gameplay is reminiscent of a lot of 2D platformers. Players control Nyx, who has no means of attack at the outset. All she can do is run, do a Yoshi-esque flutter jump multiple times, and glide for a limited amount of time. You journey through most of the first level before you get access to the God Powers, which open up the gameplay considerably.

You get three of these powers throughout the game, the first of which comes to you courtesy of Zeus. It allows you to move specific objects around with the Wii Remote's pointer. These objects range from blocks, which can be used to move Nyx across the hot sand, to fireballs, which can be used to defeat enemies. There aren't a lot of enemies to defeat, as there are only three types. However, this game isn't really about fighting enemies, it's about solving puzzles.

The game shines when you must figure out one of the puzzles using quick reflexes and the God Powers in increasingly interesting locales. Oftentimes you have to move a block with the pointer while controlling Nyx. This kind of multitasking really makes NyxQuest stand out from other games. The puzzles get tough, but they're never too frustrating.

There are some collectible relics in each level, and if you get them all, you unlock a challenging bonus level. Outside of that, there isn't much else to do once you complete three-to-four hour experience. Still, it's a brilliant 2D platformer that takes advantage of Wii controls and offers fun and interesting gameplay.

Review Policy

In our reviews, we'll try not to bore you with minutiae of a game. Instead, we'll outline what makes the game good or bad, and focus on telling you whether or not it is worth your time as opposed to what button makes you jump.

We use a five-star rating system with intervals of .5. Below is an outline of what each score generally means:

All games that receive this score are standout games in their genre. All players should seek a way to play this game. While the score doesn't equate to perfection, it's the best any game could conceivably do.

These are above-average games that most players should consider purchasing. Nearly everyone will enjoy the game and given the proper audience, some may even love these games.

This is our middle-of-the-road ranking. Titles that receive three stars may not make a strong impression on the reviewer in either direction. These games may have some faults and some strong points but they average out to be a modest title that is at least worthy of rental for most.

Games that are awarded two stars are below average titles. Good ideas may be present, but execution is poor and many issues hinder the experience.

Though functional, a game that receives this score has major issues. There are little to no redeeming qualities and should be avoided by nearly all players.

A game that gets this score is fundamentally broken and should be avoided by everyone.




12/18/2010 at 05:51 AM


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