The Nightjar Review
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The Nightjar Review

Our Review by Andrew Stevens on May 3rd, 2013
Rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar :: SEE WITH YOUR EARS
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The Nightjar is a game without video, letting the player’s ears do all the work to guide them in the right direction.

Developer: Somethin’ Else
Price: $4.99
Version Reviewed: 1.2
Device Reviewed On: iPad Mini

Graphics / Sound Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar
Gameplay Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar
Replay Value Rating: starhalfstarblankstarblankstarblankstar

Overall Rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar

The Nightjar is a very intriguing title because there is no video in this video game, only sound and control. It’s fascinating when the entire game revolves around sound and the player can only accomplish goals by following and avoiding certain noises. It uses the player’s imagination the entire time and helps make the story far more interesting than it could have been if there were visuals.

The Nightjar has a simple but captivating story that makes the experience and atmosphere even more memorable. The player awakens aboard a broken spaceship that is being drawn into a black hole and must find a way off the ship to escape. The story has the player visualizing the complete situation the entire time. It’s really unique in that sense and I love imagining every part of the story with every step I take. It goes to an entirely different level and becomes even more intense when the ship’s intercom announces that there are multiple life forms onboard the ship, one of which is human. Players feel those situations through their own imagination, not by video representation, and it’s awesome.

Players slide a bar on the screen to turn their character and press two car pedal-looking buttons to step with the left and right foot. At the beginning of each level, it’s important to listen for a beep that indicates what direction players need to move to complete the objective. Using headphones, players need to turn their character to pinpoint where the sound is coming from and use the pedals to walk in that direction. It’s pretty simple at first, but once the other life forms come into play, it becomes a lot more challenging. If players walk too fast and fall down, the creatures will hear and come after them. There’s nothing scarier than hearing an invisible monster get closer to the player’s location.

The Nightjar does have some incredibly frustrating instances to go along with the enjoyable uniqueness of the game. It has a moment where the game quickly becomes too challenging, forcing the player to run and listen for the door at the same time. I had to replay it a lot which took the fun away for a short period of time. That’s when I also noticed glitches of where my objective wouldn’t sound off for me to hear, forcing me to restart the stage.

The Nightjar features just 14 levels that can be defeated in under an hour, if done right. It’s a short story of escape with no real reason to replay it again afterwards. I find it to be a truly unique experience despite its issues. It’s scary and thrilling to have an alien creature between me and my objective, and only by listening closely can I creep by without bumping into it and having it eat me.


iPhone Screenshots

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iPad Screenshots

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The Nightjar screenshot 6 The Nightjar screenshot 7 The Nightjar screenshot 8 The Nightjar screenshot 9 The Nightjar screenshot 10
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