Switch version tested
Review code provided
Ah, to be able to free fall from space onto the back of a dragon. In a world overtaken by vibrant yet fearsome dragons, humanity has been forced to leave the once safe surface of Earth and move out beyond the outer levels of the atmosphere. EarthNight is an auto runner focused on slaying dragons, collecting junk, and upgrading your water tank. Yes, your water tank.
Auto runners have been beat to death on mobile platforms. EarthNight freshens up the tried and true formula to create something more a little more engaging. You will take one of two characters down to the back of a dragon, and during a short run you’ll try to collect as much loot as possible all while stomping out baddies. At the end of each run you’ll make it to the dragon’s head, where you get to stab the mess out of them. There’s a time limit, and if you manage to do enough damage before times up, you are rewarded with a nice keepsake to prove you made the kill. If not, you’ll be flung off back into space to continue your journey. You keep this going until you meet your demise, attempting to survive long enough to kill as many dragons as possible before returning to your spaceship.
The currency in this game is water. So, it’s important to upgrade your water tank to hold as much water as possible, which can be used to buy different upgrades for each character. All loot collected on each run will be automatically exchanged for water. Even a bad run may give you the resources needed for the next upgrade, which is a good way to keep from being discouraged when a badly timed jump ends in premature death. Each run is also procedurally generated to keep things interesting and new each time. This does mean the random placement of enemies can make them unavoidable, destroying a run if not careful. Some upgrades will help with that.
The ultimate highlight of the game is the art. Just look at the screenshots. You can tell there was a lot of time dedicated to making this a gorgeous experience. The artist Paul Davey, who goes by Mattahan, combines realism with fantasy and sci-fi elements in creative and gripping ways. It helps EarthNight stand out in the bustling indie crowd. I recommend checking out his other work as well.
EarthNight feels like you’re in a painting. The unique art style paired with a fantastic soundtrack truly carries the experience of slaying dragons in space. This auto runner battles repetitiveness with procedurally generated levels that keep you on your toes. I had fun with my time with EarthNight but never felt compelled to continue the journey down to Earth. It should satisfy fans of the genre that are looking for a challenge.
TBG Score: 7/10
Platform: Steam, Mobile, Nintendo Switch
Release Date: 03/12/2019
No. of Players: 1
Category: Action, Platformer
Download link: eShop