Arcade runner games are a staple in my house, mostly played on our mobiles you will always find me or my two youngest boys playing the likes of Subway Surfer, Jetpack Joyride or the now classic, Temple Run. So when I heard Earthnight was up to review it was a no brainer really but I didn’t really know what I was in for but my god am I glad I got it.
Dragons Rule the skies of Earthnight
The story behind the game couldn’t be simpler, the earth has been taken over by huge space dragons. Humans have given up all hope and have blasted into orbit to get away from their new rulers. You take control as either the bald, bearded hipster Stanley armed with his trusty sword or the young Sydney who posses a dragon spirit. Like most auto-running games there is not much in terms of story-lines as they let the action do the talking and Earthnight is no different but what the guys of CleaverSoft have done is given you enough story to go on and made an absolutely stunning game that makes you want to know about these characters and the supporting cast like the mad professor that is in charge of your space ship and power ups and the weird alien that appears floating around the latter dragons who starts calling you a noob and tells you you aren’t good enough and then there are the dragons themselves and Earthnight itself.
Float like a butterfly and stab like a hipster with a sword
You start each run diving out of your space craft and you land on your first (beginner) dragon. This dragon is easy enough to get to grips with so its really there to help you get to grips with the controls and abilities of your hero which vary and depends on who you pick. My personal favorite is Sydney as she has double jump to start with and I can get to the higher platforms and dodge the majority of nasty aliens below. Along with her double jump she also possesses a dragon spirit that encases her body as you use her glide ability with certain power ups (we’ll get to them in a minute).
Stanley on the other hand is more for those advanced players. He has a single jump but two different types, a high jump and a long jump plus he has a sword that can be used with power ups and can cut his way through the hordes of enemies. If you survive the run along the back of the dragon you will get to its monstrous head where you will have a time limit to take down the dragon by stabbing it…yes you read correctly, you stab its head and if done correctly you will be rewarded with a piece of the dragon to bring back to your resident nutty professor to unlock the much needed power ups.
The power ups are unlocked by collecting loot that is scattered along the dragons because as we all know from our fantasy books, dragons love loot and gold. Along with loot each dragon has three eggs you can collect plus that piece of the dragon you get when felling the beasts. As you collect all of these the professor on your ship will unlock, upgrade and teach you about the different power ups. There are different boots that make you jump higher, different loaves of bread that when collected give you the power to kill certain aliens and the there are random things that turn the screen pixelated or black and white. You will come to love the power ups because as the dragons get harder you need more than luck to get you by.
Falkor must die!!
Earthnight’s levels are split up into four of the Earths atmospheres. Each filled with dragons that get harder to master and weirder to look at. There is a checklist in each atmosphere that lets you know what dragons live there and which ones you have taken down. You can if you want, free fall your way down through the levels until you reach earth and face Earthnight itself only facing the first dragon and the Crystal dragon on the 3rd level who cant be avoided but where is the fun in that and you will miss out on so much. Each play through there is aways something that you will have missed the last time you played. The games backgrounds are stunning and vary on each level the same goes for the soundtrack. I cannot tell you how catchy the tunes are and how they fit perfectly into this arcade throwback.
At the time of writing this I still have not defeated Earthnight. The level itself is a combination of everything you have learned and faced with the added threat of the wolf headed dragon, Earthnight, that swoops down to cause you damage. As it has been pointed out to me, Earthnight looks like a meaner Falkor from The NeverEnding Story, so maybe on some subconscious level the child in me doesn’t want to kill him and is happy for it to devour me time and time again.
All in all this is a truly enjoyable game that you can pick up over and over and still get that buzz of making it to the end and hopefully defeating as many dragons as you can and finally Earthnight and proudly call yourself a Dragon Slayer.
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