Releasing on Steam this week, Digerati Distribution‘s The Sun and Moon, a brilliant yet minimalistic platformer, is heading to the PlayStation Vita in the coming months and I was lucky enough to play it at last month’s Play Expo in Manchester, England.
With a platforming style reminiscent of titles such as Sound Shapes or N++ and from the mind of Daniel Linssen, The Sun and Moon was the winner of Ludum Dare 29 – a game jam where the Ludum Dare community pick a theme for developers to create a game to. Ludum Dare 29’s theme was ‘Beneath the Surface’ and from this Linssen came up with the idea for The Sun and Moon.
Playing as a blob-like character with eyes, the aim of the game is to collect three orbs that are located throughout each level that will cause an exit wormhole to open allowing you to complete the stage. This sounds simple in premise, but obstacles such as spikes, huge drops and impossible-to-scale heights will come between you and the exit hole, making the execution that little more difficult.
Here is where The Sun and Moon comes into its own. The game has a unique dynamic that allows you to dive into the ground. When you do this the speed at which you are travelling continues, yet the gravitational pull is reversed. Using this physics-bending ability will allow you to dive into the ground and fling yourself high into the sky to attain hard to reach targets and complete each of the game’s 150 stages.
Movement around each of The Sun and Moon’s 150 levels feels as fluid as it looks, with controls being tight and responsive. This is exactly what you need in a platform game of this nature and, due to such great controls, each time that I did find myself failing to achieve a good score on any of the game’s levels I could only blame myself.
With bronze, silver and gold medals rewarded for completing each of the levels within a certain time, The Sun and Moon will definitely challenge anyone that plays it. I often found myself repeating levels time and time again trying to best my top score (and often failing). If you do find yourself struggling to beat a certain level, worry not! The Sun and Moon will allow for you to play other levels as you see fit, meaning that you can explore other levels and then return when you’re ready.
I found that the more time that I spent with The Sun and Moon, the more that I found myself becoming at one with the control scheme, pulling off moves and diving through levels that I previously flailed hopelessly at. It is here that the game’s simple yet stunning art-style really does come into its own. Sharp and crisp, the graphics in The Sun and Moon are beautiful and the soundtrack is equally as enjoyable. The game’s music is best described as 8-bit and comes from Swedish producer Dubmood. As you progress through the game, the soundtrack grows in stature and I found myself getting drawn further and further into the game with the soundtrack pumping down my headphones and keeping me hooked while I was playing.
It is this perfect combination of tight controls, simplistic visuals and sublime soundtrack that make The Sun and Moon a game that grabs you with simplicity but gets you hooked trying to beat each of the levels and better your score.
With no concrete release date for the PlayStation Vita, check out some screens of the game below and be sure to keep an eye on The Vita Lounge for all the news you will need around the release of The Sun and Moon as soon as we hear more!