EarthNight is a procedurally generated 2D auto runner, that takes place in the future after a dragon apocalypse. The human race has been exiled into space and it's up to two heroes, a little girl named Sydney (with some sort of mystical powers) and a photographer named Stanley (who, by chance, is great with the sword).
The game gets it's roots from classic arcade games and roguelites. At the start of the game, you choose between the two characters, both have their own abilities and each has separate unlockable power ups as you progress through the game; I'll discuss this more in a little bit.
Your character runs on the backs of dragons, defeating monsters that get in your way, by either jumping on their head, or slashing them with a sword, if you have that power up unlocked. As I mentioned earlier, the game is an auto runner, so you are constantly moving along the back of the dragon, progressing until you reach the head of the dragon. While you can't stop your character, you can slow down (or speed up your run) with the left joy stick.
Once you reach the head of the dragon, you attack it by hitting a button. The longer you allow your attack to build up power, the more damage you will do. However, there is a timer in place and you need to kill the dragon before the time runs out. If time does run out, you are thrown off the back of the dragon and are sent hurdling down towards earth. From here you can dive to land on another dragon.
Each dragon is a different color and there are five different layers of the atmosphere, where the dragons roam. The goal is to kill the all the different color dragons in each layer. For each kill, you are rewarded with unlocking power ups, pick ups that you will find in each run. There are also dragon eggs and other items along the way that you pick up that will help you in future runs. This is where the roguelite aspect comes into play.
After you complete a run, you return to your ship and turn in your treasure to a scientist that works on the ship. In doing so, you will unlock the power ups that you will find on subsequent runs. These power ups are timed based, so once you pick them up, you only have a certain amount of time that you can use the power ups. However, there are plenty of power ups scattered throughout the run, so you can always recharge your timer. The power ups range from boots that help you jump, to swords that help against certain enemies. Each power up is tailored to each character, so, for instance, you might find yourself switching to Stanley when you unlock one of the sword power ups, as this is a power up that is tailored to him.
One nice thing about this game is that for each run you do, all the things you've collected during the run you will be able to turn in after your run is complete, even if you die. And you will die a lot. The first couple of runs will feel frustrating, as you will have no power ups, and you need to get used to the controls. The controls are fairly simplistic, but being an auto runner, there will be times when you jump into the air, and coming down, you don't see what is below you. It can be frustrating when you land next to a monster instead on top of it. But once you get a hang of the controls, the game is easy to play and addicting to boot.
The game also features illustrated character, monsters, and dragons, and they look gorgeous in the game. The dragons are so beautifully illustrated it's almost a shame that you need to kill them. The artwork really brings this game to live. The music, composed by Chipocrite, also adds to the arcade atmosphere. The music is a mix of chip tunes along with guitar and drums, and so well done and fits perfectly into the game. You can find a link to the music here.
If there was one complaint about the game is the fact that it's an auto runner, and with that does come the challenge of learning how to navigate your way through the level, especially when you can't see below your character. As mentioned above, you will die a lot until you learn how to master the auto run aspects and unlock power ups.
Final Grade: B+
There's no denying that there is something special here. The game combines the auto runner and roguelite genres with the beautifully procedurally generated illustrated world. If you are a fan of old school arcade games, this game should definitely be on your list to pick up.
The Tip and The Top:
Visually stunning, illustrated graphics
Unique twist on the auto run and roguelite Genres
The Music adds to the arcade style atmosphere
Each run doesn't take long, which allows for those times where you may only have a few moments to play
The Flip and The Flop:
Be prepared to die...a lot; It's hard to see what's below you
Review code provided by Stride PR