|System: Wii (WiiWare)||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Over the Top Games||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Over the Top Games||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Aug. 10, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
It's been roughly a year now since WiiWare launched, and though we have had a handful of compelling titles hit the platform, few have come close to offering the depth of LostWinds. Over The Top Games, however, now raises the bar just a little bit higher with a beautiful and challenging adventure based on Greek mythology.
NyxQuest: Kindred Spirits is something of a puzzle-platformer wherein you take control of a winged goddess in search of Icarus. While stretching his wings, Icarus stumbles upon another astral plane (presumably night) and meets up with Nyx. When the destiny of Icarus falls upon him, Nyx sets out to rescue him from his fate. Surprisingly, the game does a really good job of offering up an interesting presentation, and though there are a few flubs in the writing here and there that cause some minor confusion in terms of instructing the player, the story is intriguing. The game also seems to take quite a few liberties with Greek mythology in general, but it's an enjoyable and somewhat melancholy adventure all the same.
Nyx is a winged goddess and, as such, can fly about effortlessly. However, she can only flap her wings (by pressing the A button) five times before needing to touch down on solid ground for a rest. There's a wing meter on the top, left-hand corner of the screen, as well as a glide meter. By pressing the Z button, Nyx can glide through the air, allowing her to travel greater distances. Her ability to glide isn't infinite, however, and you'll often need to time your flight just perfectly in order to get where you need to be going throughout the game.
Early on in your pursuit to find Icarus, Zeus will offer his assistance via a power that will allow you to exert control over various highlighted objects within the environment. You'll use the Wii Remote along with the B button either to move blocks and other objects, or to hold up pillars that might otherwise crush Nyx as she tries to pass under them. This is where much of the game's difficulty comes into play, as you'll often be required to hold up pillars, grab fireballs, or interact with some other object while navigating Nyx through the level. The game makes its level of challenge apparent right from the start, and if you're looking for casual fare, you won't find it here.
Nevertheless, the game is always fair. You might find yourself cursing often, but the rewards for clearing an area are great. The puzzles are clever, and they're worked into navigating levels in ingenious ways. Controlling Nyx is also very intuitive. She can run by holding the Z button, and the amount of flight she gets when flapping corresponds to the speed and pressure of your button presses.
Nyx's travels take her through a broken Greece populated by the vile minions of Hades. Harpes are an early fixture of the game, and though they patrol set patterns, if you get too close, they'll break their patrol to come and attack you. There are also satyrs who charge at you, lopping off a fair amount of your health if you're hit. There are some pretty cool boss-like challenges as well; they aren't epic, but they're certainly entertaining and mix up the formula nicely.
Both the Wii Remote and Nunchuk are used to the fullest, and it's almost crazy at times what the game will ask of you. There is a touch of waggle thrown in toward the middle of the adventure, but thankfully it doesn't play a huge part in the gameplay. Some of the game's later levels, however, will surely have most players asking themselves, "How the heck do they expect me to get past that?"