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Review: Nyxquest: Kindred Spirits

Table of Contents

Quick Info

Gore & Brutality Magic Sex Civility Religious Objections
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Additional Notes
This game offers Achievements (or similar awards)!

Summary of major issues
The main issue with this game is that it centers around Greek deities, though they take a very passive role considering how they allow the story's villains to run rampant.

Screenshots


Facing down an evil dragon


Beware of harpies


Dealing with the desert heat

General Information

Genre:PlatformerAge Rating:Everyone (Ages 3+)
License:CommercialQuality Rating:Good
Played on:Thaddeus
Available from: Gamer's Gate, Steam
Save System:Your progress is only saved when you clear a level. Fortunately, the levels aren't very long and you can pause at any time by hitting ESC.

Game Overview

Nyxquest is a little unique in that the main character, a winged woman named Nyx, is able to fly for short distances. Like most platformers, jumping over ledges and pits makes up most of the gameplay. But, since Nyx has wings, she can use them to fly higher or glide while in the air, effectively giving her the ability to jump seven times before she needs to land again. Nyx's gliding range is also limited, though it's typically far enough to reach past the dangerous areas she'll encounter.

At first, she's on her own as she faces the harsh environment. Blocks and columns can crush her, harpies and other monsters threaten her, and burning hot sand is everywhere. Nyx has no offensive powers, which leaves her all the more vulnerable at the beginning of the game. As she continues her travels, she'll encounter various Greek gods that will grant the player new ways to deal with the world around them. Most of this amounts to little more than the ability to move objects or fire bolts of lightning, but it's very effective at tipping the scales in Nyx's favor.

A downside to this game is that it's almost too simple for its own good. The graphics are great, and the gameplay is fine, but at the end of the day it's still a fairly short and easy adventure. Fortunately, it's not very expensive and may hit that "just right" sweet spot for a rainy weekend.

Story Summary

You've probably heard about Icarus, the man who fashioned a pair of wings for himself. When worn, these wings would allow him to soar into the heavens like a bird. High in the clouds, Icarus discovered a thriving city of winged people. As much as he would like to stay, this floating city would vanish during the night, forcing him to return to the Earth until the next morning. After spending some time with the people of this city, he fell in love with a young woman named Nyx. Despite the slightly problematic living conditions, the two lived happily for some time. One day things changed, as a column of fire came from the sun, scorching the Earth and melting Icarus' wings. Distraught, Nyx left her cloud city to find Icarus. Instead of her love, she found the world barren and burning. Now alone in a broken world, she is the only one that can stand in the way of Helios destroying the Earth.

Pros

Puzzles don't get in the way of the player
The majority of the puzzles are very simple, being nothing more than unique ways of avoiding hazards. For example, you sometimes need to guide Nyx through a series of fireballs, and to do this you just use your mouse to drag the fireballs out of the way. Other examples include grabbing columns that would come crashing down on her or sliding blocks over deadly sand.


Wonderfully drawn cutscenes resemble Greek pottery
Many games try to include their story elements using the game's assets, but here the tale is told using elaborately decorated artwork with subtitles. This works remarkably well for keeping the mood from getting too heavy during the more serious moments.


Achievements and hidden artifacts
While the game's story can be completed in about two hours, there are a few extra things for you to do once you're confident in your skills. Each level has at least one relic hidden away somewhere, and there are a number of Steam achievements to earn. Many of these achievements revolve around speed running the levels, so be sure to move quickly!


Cons

Not very challenging
Nyx is extremely nimble, as she's able to use her wings to stay airborne and reach incredible heights in a single jump. This also means that she can simply fly away from nearly any hazard, and the powers granted to you by the gods make it easy to keep her safe from harm. Combine this with the many checkpoints and no penalty for failure, and you have a game that's not going to challenge most gamers.


Concerns and Issues

Focus on Greek myth
Unsurprisingly, this game draws fairly heavily from Greek mythology. This includes some of the Greek gods as well as magical creatures such as harpies and dragons. For what it's worth, the inability of the gods to do anything about the current situation raises some serious questions about their right to be known as gods in the first place.


Mild violence
This game doesn't really feature combat (as Nyx cannot attack anything herself), but there are situations where characters harm each other. Nyx can be hurt by touching spikes or the hot sands, while the various monsters attack her directly.

Should any character be defeated, they simply disappear in a puff or retreat into the sand.