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Terra Noctis review (iOS / Universal)

January 24, 2012

“Mama mama I keep having nightmares
Mama mama mama on my own”

10 word description: Retro platformer. Fight monsters, solve riddles, explore world, find secrets.

10 word review: Mostly enjoyable game; almost gets everything right but not quite.

You will like this if you enjoy: Platform games involving fairly large levels where exploring, collecting items and bouncing on enemies’ heads are the main objectives.

The good news: Charming (without being cute for the sake of it) graphics and characters. Plenty to do in each level. Great retro collect-em-up vibe. Fairly imaginative, given that it’s inspired by a whole bunch of memorable games from a very heavily worked genre.

The bad news: None of these are major issues, but they combine to take a bit of a shine off the experience for me. First of all, the aiming (to shoot) feels rather awkward and interferes with the running and jumping to some extent. I can’t really get into the whole consumable items/powers concept; maybe I’m just over-thinking it. I’ve had quite a few deaths caused by not identifying the difference between a platform and a hole; again, this could just be me being a bit stupid. Despite the novel concept, the ideas don’t seem to develop through the game and the running, jumping, collecting and bouncing on enemy heads all feels rather generic.

Arcadelife verdict: It’s a good platform game with a unique protagonist – a trainee nightmare – and a suitably weird and dangerous world to explore. Apart from a few minor issues that lowered the scores in some of the rating categories, it’s hard to see how this game wouldn’t appeal to genre fans, and probably quite a few other people too. Just don’t go in expecting some kind of platform gaming revolution, because it definitely isn’t one.

Arcadelife rating

Visuals – 8/10
Audio – 8/10
Controls – 7.5/10
Content – 8/10
Fun – 7.5/10
Final rating – 78/100

Rating categories explained here.
Version reviewed by Arcadelife is 1.0.2
iTunes link

BulkyPix / Terra Noctis website link

Arcadelife played and reviewed this game on:
4th gen iPod Touch (OS 5.0.1)
iPad (OS 5.0.1)
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