Icarus has gone missing, and Nyx is here to save the day. A heroine with wings, and the power to move huge objects and direct fire seems well equipped for the adventure at hand. Set in ancient Greek mythology we get to fraternise with Zeus, and his godly chums. The story might be simple, but the beautiful mysterious setting makes it work. Finding Icarus soon becomes as important to me as it is to Nyx.
NyxQuest is a puzzle platformer where the platforming takes a backseat to the puzzle elements. The controls are all touch based with arrows to walk left and right, and a jump button in the right corner. Nyx can jump five times in a row, and glide by holding the jump button. Learning to gain height is vital to finding the secret relics that each level contains. The most important aspect of the controls is the environmental affects she can do. Redirecting a ball of fire is as simple as touching it, and drawing where it should go. Boulders can be moved, and at times Nyx rides through the desert on one of them controlled by my finger. Large pillars can be razed, and others can be stopped from crushing you with a tap of a finger. Objects that can be affected have a sparkle around them. As the adventure progresses Nyx becomes more powerful, and the more she can move the more intricate the puzzles become.
NyxQuest is set across 12 levels, but once inside the game the levels flow into one and another. I like this a lot, and it increases the immersion of the game. To complete it, I have had to spend more than six hours navigating puzzles, jumping between harpies and slaying bosses. Overall, the minions you fight are rather weak, and I think more could have been done with the Greek mythology setting and it’s famous creatures.
The presentation really shines through in NyxQuest, with lovely backgrounds, great animations and a polished user interface. No numbers or counters are visible on the screen, just a life bar in the top left, and a pause button in the top right. The music is equally great at setting the scene of the game. You can play your own music too, while keeping the sound effects enabled if that is something you fancy.
With Crystal integration, and progression bragging through Twitter and Facebook, it is sufficiently connected socially. Still, it is not really that kind of game where you have any reason to think about scores. Getting the relics is fun because finding them requires some extra brain muscle activity.
Any game is not without its flaws, and NyxQuest is no exception. My initial impression was that this is a five star game. After about 500 reviews at TouchGen I have written only four five star reviews so they are hard to come by. Playing on my iPhone 4 the game looks absolutely marvellous, and the initial levels alone could have granted it the coveted five star rating. Once the puzzles start becoming more intricate, and you need to move more boulders and rocks the problem starts. The screen of the iPhone is too small, and the movement and jump buttons get in the way when I need to move or affect something. Too often this leads to me having to go back, and reset the entire puzzle to avoid getting any block in my lower right or left screen. I booted up the game on the iPad 2, and the larger screen estate with smaller buttons compared to the game world means that the puzzles are easier to complete. The game doesn’t look as polished on the iPad though, and there are some jagged edges. Overall I didn’t get as immersed into the HD version. To be able to play the game without getting annoyed at the control issues I rather play on the iPad, and it is the device I ended up completing the game on. And as it is originally a WiiWare title the game was intented for a larger screen from the start.
NyxQuest is one of the best platformers I have played on any iOS device. It looks and sounds stunning, has a great setting and is generally a joy to play. At times the small screen makes the environmental controls, and movement controls clash over space on the iPhone. It might be less immersive, and lacking the Retina resolution on the iPad, but it sure plays better on it. NyxQuest comes highly recommended for both the iPhone and the iPad. For those with the choice I would recommend the HD version on the larger screen.
Seller: Chillingo Ltd