Tag: Illustration »
App Reviewed on: iPhone 3GS
Graphics / Sound Rating:
User Interface Rating:
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Poor little Allen. Life's tough for a nightmare that's more "Aaaaaaawwwwww..." than "AAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaa!!!!," and if he's going to have any hope of being taken seriously he's going to have to figure something out. Fortunately, after being kicked out of class for being too cute he stumbled across an ancient text that spoke of a sort of uber-nightmare. If he can find it, he might be able to acquire its scariness and become the most fearsome shadow in the dream world. Of course, he has to find it first.
Thus, Allen's journey beings. Leading him on a hunt across four different worlds (just over 30 stages in all) as he acquires new abilities and meets all sorts of interesting characters. Each level contains a number of red fairy-type collectibles which can be used to unlock later worlds, as well as gold tokens that will unlock bonus stages. There are also hidden letters to collect (they spell "scare") that, in addition to the red fairies and coins, are tallied up at the end of a level. As one would expect, getting 100% takes a fair amount of exploration. Allen can perform many a classic platforming move such as double-jumping and butt-bouncing, however he can also purchase more from the shop that include gliding and faster running. It's important to note that bought abilities aren't permanent, and if Allen loses a life he'll lose the power-ups as well.
Terra Noctis sports some truly wonderful visual designs and animations, with a graphical presentation that gives the game a hand-drawn appearance. It's also got some great music that can be both haunting and catchy. I'm a big fan of all the little touches such as the way the low-level nightmares will stare upwards in slack-jawed awe as Allen soars over their heads (and promptly lands on them) as well. Most of all, I'm impressed by how well it functions. I've messed around with plenty of iOS platrofmers and I have to say, Terra Noctis is definitely in my top three.
It's not perfect, though. Not by a long shot. I've experienced crashes pretty much every time I've hit hidden item blocks, unless I make sure to clear out any other blocks that might be touching them first (???). I've lost purchased power-ups that weren't equipped when I died. Some of the text reads awkwardly. The numbers indicating what's required to unlock a world are backwards (i.e. I have 5 and need 8 but it reads "8/5"). It's a bunch of little nagging things that don't ruin the experience, but they certainly don't help.
Even with this rather large laundry list (I don't have enough space to list them all) of bite-sized problems, I'd still recommend Terra Noctis wholeheartedly to anyone who loved to jump on things. It's beautiful to look at and listen to, but it's also just plain fun to play.