EGX 2014: The Sun and Moon

(Please note: all images are from the Ludam Dare version of The Sun and Moon)

The Sun and Moon was originally made for Ludam Dare 29 and ultimately won the game jam. I played that version some time ago and wrote a review in short of it here. Due to the enjoyment of my thirty minute experience, I was greatly anticipating playing some of the upcoming full release.

The Sun and Moon is a platforming game in which you control a shape, collect other shapes and reach the portal that will complete the level. Sounds simple enough, but there is a mechanic which will both aid you and cause problems. You are able to phase into the ground. While in the ground the gravity is flipped, and you're moved to the surface. The speed at which you travel upwards is determined by how fast you're moving when entering the surface. You don't gain momentum while in the ground. This is one of the main ways you overcome obstacles.

The Sun and Moon

This mechanic is used in several interesting ways. You may jump along a horizontal platform, phase into the ground and ark blow some spikes, jump from a high distance in order to reach a far away platform when you re-emerge or drop down a solid platform to another. While seemingly simple, this mechanic has a great number of uses. It will take a little while for the player to become accustomed to this type of movement, especially when the levels increase in complexity, but that's part of the fun.

The controls are very tight and movement sharp. The addition of controller support is a welcome one. It's one of those games that is punishing but fair. It will be up to the player to become good enough to move through the levels. In the fifteen levels I played through in this demo, I had three that I had real difficulty clearing. Determined, I ultimately completed them all.

Ultimately, what I enjoyed so much in The Sun and Moon is the complexity through simplicity. The visuals are clean and each level that I've played is relatively short. However, guiding your shape through the obstacles, getting the right propulsion and using the upwards movement to launch yourself to higher platforms is endearing and can be very tricky in places. Hazardous shapes become littered in levels and you're required to control precisely in order to navigate past them. Much like Super Meat Boy, you'll restart levels countless times, likely becoming frustrated at yourself, and feel great achievement when finally reaching that portal.

The Sun and Moon

In the level selection screen you are given a non-linear choice of several levels, meaning if you did become stuck on one particularly challenging area, you can take a breather and try another. This choice seems apt for this type of game; easing the build up of frustration. There are several levels in each area which have their own colour palette.

The Sun and Moon looks like it will be a high quality, challenging platformer. The tight controls and movement mean that it will be up to the player to master the levels. In the short demo I played I already saw greater variety than in the Ludam Dare 29 version and I greatly anticipate getting my hands on the full version.

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