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Terra Noctis
 

Terra Noctis

Platform: iPhone/iPod
Category: Platformer
 
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Terra Noctis is a charm-filled platformer that's a wonderful addition to the iOS's lineup of games. Provided to me by publisher BulkyPix and developer Fire Fruit Forge, it immediately won me over with its graphics and music and continued to impress me with its gameplay. I should come clean and say I have a bit of a bias; I love platformers. Of course, that also means that I've played a lot of them, so take that for what you will. While not without a few small faults, Terra Noctis is an amazing game.

Graphics and Sound

While definitely retro-inspired, you'll notice that the graphics look great. It has a colorful, low-saturation look with detailed sprites. The bosses often feature large sprites that are just awesome. The soundtrack is excellent with great music and sound effects. I have to admit that I was very intrigued as soon as I saw screenshots for the game. They say you can't judge a book by its cover, but in this case, I did, and I was right.

Gameplay

In Terra Noctis, you play as Allen who attends Nightmare School. He fails a test for being too cute and not scary. Allen leaves to read about a legend of the scariest monster. If his heart is eaten by another monster, he'll become scary too. Allen sets off to do just that.

Allen is controlled primarily with four on-screen buttons. Left and right arrows in the bottom left of the screen control the direction in which he walks. In the bottom-right is the down button and jump button. If the jump button is pressed while already jumping, it makes Allen perform a double jump. If the duck button is pressed while in the air, he'll pound the ground. You can also the touch on the screen elsewhere to initiate aiming a projectile. This little addition makes a big difference as it gives Terra Noctis a little something extra compared to many other platformers. The controls feel good most of the time. Like with most games with on-screen buttons, a controller would feel better, but it still works well without.

What platformer would be complete without collectibles? Well, there are a ton to collect in Terra Noctis! Every level has 15 red fairies, a gold coin, and the letters S-C-A-R-E to find. In addition, there are a ton of blue fairies scattered throughout the level. These help provide clues as to where to go while also functioning as currency in a shop for powerups.

The game features 40 different levels. Some of these you'll have to unlock using collectibles. There are multiple worlds featuring different styles. Terra Noctis features excellent level design with great enemy and terrain placement, multiple paths, and secret areas. There are also a variety of character designs that are all cute. While there isn't a ton of dialogue, there is some on occasion, and this helps spice things up a bit. Sometimes the grammar isn't perfect, but I was always able to understand.

There were times I felt like the game should recognize me hurting the enemy, but it would cause me to get hurt when jumping on them. This only happened on "border" cases. For example, it might be the bottom-right corner of my sprite connecting with the top-left of an enemy sprite. I'll consider this me jumping on him and want the game to register me killing him. However, the game might consider this the enemy colliding with me and cause me to get hurt. Regardless, it never happened when I felt I was 100% correct, so maybe I should just get over it and learn to be more careful. Still, I can't help but think it should be a little more forgiving.

Conclusion

Allen wants to be scary, but he's actually quite adorable. While this is bad for him, it's great for us. Terra Noctis features beautiful sprite art, a great soundtrack, and fantastic level design. It's easily worth the $2.99 on the App Store. In fact, Terra Noctis is one of the best iPhone games I've played this year!















 
 

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