NyxQuest is one of the most enjoyable platformers you’ll play this year.
Originally released via WiiWare, NyxQuest: Kindred Spirits now has a PC/Mac version available, swapping the Wii Remote for a keyboard and mouse combination. While the control scheme has changed, not much else about this lovely platformer has been altered – which is good news for us as it’s still great fun and, if you didn’t play it the first time around, should definitely be on your radar now.
NyxQuest tells the story of Nyx, an angel-like creature in the times of ancient Greece. She lives in a city in the clouds, and one day discovers a man named Icarus who has built wings and flown up into the sky. The two become friends, and Icarus visits Nyx every day.
One day, a terrible beam of light is emitted from the burning hot sun, destroying the Earth and catching Icarus mid-flight. Nyx ventures down to the scorched Earth to find her friend and rescue him, with the god Zeus ready and willing to help her out.
The game is a side-scrolling platformer, with some great physics-based sections to puzzle your way through. Nyx can jump and then fly upwards a few times before running out of power, and also glide over obstacles and across gaps. The real fun, however, comes with the inclusion of the mouse – you can click on certain objects and blocks to pick them up and drag them around the screen.
This power leads to some wonderfully clever puzzles. Blocks can be dragged into place and used as platforms to reach higher levels, or dragged on top of hazards to clear a safe path for Nyx. The best puzzles involve standing Nyx on top of a block, then moving the block and bringing our angel protagonist along for the ride.
In a way, NyxQuest feels a little like an old Nintendo or SEGA game when it comes to the level design and puzzle ideas. Everything is clearly well thought out, and the action will bring a smile to your face every time you manage to complete a tricky section. It’s no walk in the park, mind – later on, the puzzles get quite difficult, and you’ll need quick reactions and an open mind to clear the tougher parts. Some puzzles may prove a little too difficult for some.
There are 12 levels ready to challenge your noggin, although you’ll find plenty more to do besides simply reaching the end, as there are secrets hidden away on every level and relics to find. A bonus level is also available to unlock, so going back to past levels and hunting down those last few relics adds plenty of replay value.
It’s also worth mentioning the gorgeous graphical style on show throughout NyxQuest. Everything looks really lovely, with Earth’s now demolished landscape drenched in bloom effects at the sun beams down on the action. The Wii version has had quite the graphical enhancement for this PC edition, with a heat distortion effect now on show which really makes you feel the temperature rising!
NyxQuest: Kindred Spirits was essential WiiWare, and is now essential PC and Mac gaming too. If you’re looking for a clever side-scrolling platform filled with lovely ideas and puzzles and huge levels to explore, you should definitely check Nyx’s journey out. A demo is also available to download.