REVIEW: ‘EarthNight’ Features Repetitive and Stale Gameplay (Switch)

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EarthNight

EarthNight is an action-adventure platformer, developed and published by CleaverSoft, where dragons have invaded the Earth and humanity has taken to the stars for refuge. You play as Sydney and Stanley, who have not given up the fight to take their world back and skydive back down to Earth, landing on the backs of invading dragons in hopes of slaying them.

EarthNight is a simple yet challenging game that could be compared to the likes of Temple Run and Subway Surfers. Whoever you decide to control, the only movement you can do is jump, hold the down directional button to fall fast, slow down your movement, or speed up. Jumping and trying to evade monsters on the dragon’s back, you have to survive until you get to the flying behemoth’s head. On the way, you collect random items to upgrade your water tank and possibly unlock items to use to aid you on your adventure.

Upon reaching the dragon’s head, you have to swiftly slay the dragon with your ability depending on the character you chose. You play as either Sydney or Stanley, who have two completely different playstyles. Sydney, a young Brown girl, is sided with a spirit dragon. She can double jump and dash forward in multiple directions. I found her to be easy to use and she’s perfect if you’re trying to speed run to the dragon’s head. Sydney’s Spirit Dragon attacks by charging its attack before stabbing the boss in its head. Stanley is equipped with an awesome sword and beard. He is harder to control with his ability being only to jumper higher or longer. I tried to master him and it seems he’s good for trying to take out monsters on the way to the boss. You defeat monsters by jumping on top of them. Doing so in succession creates a combo and a combo of five replenishes some health.

Upon reaching the dragon boss, you would think smashing the attack button will do the trick but you need to time your attacks. When you attack at the right time you can inflict massive damage. The game tells you to watch your character’s weapon as they raise it over their head. If successful, you collect the dragon’s fang. If you’ve collected enough loot, you’re directed back to your ship and alerted of unlocked power-ups and upgrades. 

Upgrades consist of a larger water tank to hold more water, which is the currency of the game. You collect water by continuously playing the game, collecting collectibles, and killing enemies. When you have collected enough items, you are alerted to unlockable power-ups when returning to your spacecraft. During my playthrough, I was able to unlock a Loaf of Bread, a Sword, and Double Jump Boots. The Loaf of Bread allows Sydney’s Dragon to envelop her, making her impervious to damage but also allowing her to destroy enemies in her path. The Sword allows Stanley to destroy certain enemies that glow without having to jump on their heads, and the Double Jump Boots allow you an extra jump after you’ve expended your two jumps.

EarthNight

EarthNight autosaves and throws you back in the day, allowing you to choose a different character, and surf the atmospheres as you search for your next dragon. You can freefall to any layer of Earth’s atmosphere but it’s difficult with the number of dragons flying around. Collide into one and you’ll have to defeat that dragon. Unfortunately, I’ve been constantly bested by the monsters in the second atmosphere and have not reached Earth.

The gameplay is repetitive and can get stale but what shines is the chiptune soundtrack and vibrant colors. The dragons look decent but the enemies you defeat and try to evade are easily forgettable. I found myself playing this game to pass the time on commutes to and from work.

Unfortunately, there is not a lot of back story to EarthNight. I would like to know where the dragons came from, how are they able to survive in different atmospheres and space? Some back story would be nice about our heroes, especially how Sydney got a spirit dragon.

EarthNight is an okay game, great for passing the time. Its chiptune soundtrack draws you in, making you want to play more. Defeating dragons are satisfying but there’s nothing more to it than that. To unlock skills and upgrades requires actual gameplay skills which can be quite frustrating if you miss an item on any given level. The monotonous gameplay does little for replayability, unfortunately.

EarthNight is available now on Apple Arcade and will be coming to Steam, PlayStation4, and Nintendo Switch on December 3, 2019.

EarthNight
  • 5/10
    Rating - 5/10
5/10

TL; DR

EarthNight is an okay game, great for passing the time. Its chiptune soundtrack draws you in, making you want to play more. Defeating dragons are satisfying but there’s nothing more to it than that. To unlock skills and upgrades requires actual gameplay skills which can be quite frustrating if you miss an item on any given level.