Let’s Preview: Earthnight – Dragons, Infinity, and Running.

Earthnight is one of those runner games, and, I’ve come to terms with the reason I don’t think it’s the greatest game I’ve ever played. I DO however, want to point out some incredible stuff about it, so, it’s not entirely fair to call it a bad game.

The earth has been abandoned by humanity, thanks to the end of life as we know it thanks to Dragons. Don’t worry though, you don’t end up in the back of a cart with your hands tied up. This isn’t Skyrim again. You have the option of playing as a man excellently cosplayed by Inglewood on a daily basis, or a 14 year old girl in a dress who somehow has magic powers. You dive out of your space can, diving towards the planet, and land on the back of dragons, which you run down, and… then stab in the back of the head until they die. Either with a sword or ghosts. Yeah. You stab them with ghosts.

Graphically, this game is pretty freakin’ excellent. You’ll have noticed in the screenshots that the game is well drawn, and the animation is crisp, it’s really beautiful. It looks amazing. I don’t know what else to say about it other than that… the UI stays out of the way. Interesting choice of items to pick up? I mean, there’s an item called “Space Bread” and it’s bread, but it’s in space, right? Another one is Space Jam, and it’s a deflated basketball, and I was like, “Heh.” when I saw that, because it’s my kinda joke.

The music is pretty good. It’s nothing extraordinary, but, I’m not an extraordinary kinda guy, nothing about the music bugs me, it’s easy going, good to listen to, and it doesn’t bug me that much. Shania Twain fans agree, that it also doesn’t impress me much. The biggest joys in games are probably in the gameplay department, usually. Unfortunately, this game REALLY reminds me of mobile gaming because it’s an infini-runner. I should know, I was involved in releasing an infini-runner on Steam that sold incredibly well. (<– This is a sarcastic sentence.)

The game isn’t just a mobile game, don’t get me wrong, but, the simplification of the gaming system feels like it was birthed from a mobile gaming mindset. I could be entirely wrong here, and maybe just letting players choose how fast to go really slows the game down and makes it a chugging, boring nightmare. (I’ve thought a lot more about this, and yes, the game would be a chugging, borning nightmare if I could stop running whenever I wanted.) The game constantly has you moving at a minimum speed, and you basically control jumping, and then have the ability to fall faster or slower, and… kind of control where you’re going mid-jump. It feels like I’m too close to the character to see what is ahead and don’t have the time to make decisions. The two character choices give you options of a simple jump and run vs a run and jump – followed by secondary jump options, but, in the end, it’s just an infini-runner with beautiful freakin’ graphics.

I don’t even understand how the sword mechanic works, or, how to attack enemies, because… you just run and jump on enemy heads. I read that the main bearded dude is a photographer, and the girl is a 14 year old high school student, but… I don’t know what any of that means in a world full of dragons. (besides, how did you get into high school when you were 14?)

I’m not mad at the game, and, even though some things just aren’t explained really well, it’s an okay game. I wish I knew how much it was going to be sold for. In it’s current state, Earthnight is both great and… not great, at the same time, but, they have a lot of time until 2019 to make changes and build the game up, I have a feeling it’s going to be a pretty fun game once we get there.

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