Explore, blast, and shield your way through massive branching levels as Laika the space dog. This 2D adventure features customized gameplay and an incredibly deep narrative.
User reviews: Mixed (22 reviews)
Release Date: Aug 1, 2014
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Reviews

“The Sun at Night is a video game and it wants you to know it... [it] is the weirdest bit of alt history I've ever played.”
70 – Polygon

“Every so often, a game comes along with just the right amount of narrative, character depth, and combat pacing. Minicore Studios’ latest project The Sun at Night has nailed all of the above and more.”
80 – Indie Game Magazine

“The Sun at Night salutes history, and not just in gaming. As a 2D platformer, it recalls latter-day Mega Man, and, digging further into history, it offers a narrative set in the Soviet Union. What matters most is the narrative.”
75 – Kill Screen

About This Game

The tide of Soviet power washing across the face of the Earth could possibly have been turned back at various stages of history. But the new energy sources they discovered lit a fire under the Russian war machine. So when Stalin rolled into Paris, the resulting flare-up of global conflict left little more than smoking ash heaps where America and Great Britain had been.

Now, Stalin is dead. Though resistance movements have emerged, the Soviets still stand supreme as rulers of the globe. Only a force from beyond the earth could possibly tip the balance.

Abram Krupin, leader of a resistance cell, knows this. When he sees a dog fall from the stars, then, he takes it as an omen. This dog speaks, wears silver armor, and has an arsenal of mysterious weapons. Abram calls her Laika.

Laika believes that, despite all odds, she can protect the countless lives crushed by the Soviets.

The Sun at Night is a 2D action platformer to be released in three parts. All episodes will feature:

- Massive, nonlinear levels that model the layouts of real locations in a way not yet seen in other platformers
- Large, choice-rich skill trees that let players approach the game the way they want to
- A novel defensive mechanic that lets players turn the firepower of Laika's enemies against them
- Smoothly flowing, fast-paced shooting action
- A story of struggle and hope, full of twists and revelations
- Rich, evocative art depicting a world dominated by a technologically ascendant Soviet empire
- Secrets and rewards hidden in every corner for the determined player

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows 7
    • Processor: AMD Turion II Dual-Core Mobiel M500 2.20 GHz
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: AMD M880G with ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4200
    • DirectX: Version 9.0
    • Hard Drive: 2 GB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows 7/8
    • Processor: 3.3 GHz FX-Series Six-Core FX-6100
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
    • Graphics: nVIDIA GeForce GT 520 4GB
    • DirectX: Version 9.0
    • Hard Drive: 2 GB available space
Helpful customer reviews
45 of 63 people (71%) found this review helpful
1.9 hrs on record
Posted: August 1
The Sun at Night
Rating: 8/10

(Already had this game via Humble Widget, now on Steam)

Great, great game. Platformer in metroidvania style but with a lot more exploration added. Has a unique graphic style I have not seen before. It looks like you've seen it before, but when you play it it's just a bit different but quite nice. Controls can be a bit quirky and getting used to; background story is interesting but you need to like sci-fi and astronaut stuff. Music and sound is just fantastic and really hit home.

Oh, you play as a dog :-)

( late addition: you can buy the soundtrack from their website. It's one of the better one's )
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19 of 23 people (83%) found this review helpful
7.9 hrs on record
Posted: August 24
I wouldn't say the Sun At Night is a good game; but it was entertaining enough to spend 7 hours playing through it. A few of the things I really hope they address if continuing the trilogy are:

  • The map is really confusing and difficult to use. It works fine at a smaller scale; but once you explore more of the map it becomes cluttered and difficult to follow.
  • Sun at Night levels are designed using x, y, and z-axis, in comparison to Metroid or Castlevania that uses only the x and y-axis. This allows for more complex level design; but I think it actually hurts the game. It makes the areas difficult to navigate with a lot of boring sections that feel like place filler.
  • The camera is very tight in most parts of the game causing you to get hit by enemies off-screen. You can keep you're shield on at all times; but I would prefer for the camera to be pulled out for a better view.
  • The game starts off really slowly, with a lot of exposition.
  • The skill menu UI is really poorly designed. I shouldn't have to scroll horizontally and vertically to see the entire skill tree.
  • Some primary missions don't provide NAV data. This is pretty annoying since the map is confusing to read and navigate. I would prefer seeing secondary objectives have no nav data; but provide higher rewards while primary objectives always having nav data.
  • There is a general lack of save points. The maps are large and there is a lot to explore; but with infrequent save points you could lose 10 to 15 minutes of time if you die. I got to the point where exploring just wasn't worth the risk.

Overall, if you're a fan of Metroidvania style games I would recommend giving it a try; but don't expect to be blown away by it. There are just too many things wrong with it that hold it back.
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18 of 23 people (78%) found this review helpful
1.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 12
The Sun at Night is a wonderful mixture of real history and fantasy. Nonetheless, a mere idea won't make a great game. But still, you should give a try.
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17 of 24 people (71%) found this review helpful
12.6 hrs on record
Posted: August 16
The Sun at Night is a fun action/platformer with metroidvania vibes (though it isn't really a metroidvania) that unfortunately ends on a major cliffhanger.

The story appears to take place in an alternate history, perhaps post-apocalyptic, Soviet Union. You play as Laika, a cybernatically enhanced dog who has no idea where she came from or who made her. After Laika wakes up, she falls in with what appears to be a group of anti-Soviet revolutionaries, and accepts a mission from them, which leads into another and then another, and then ... full stop. Lots of questions are raised about what the hell is really going on, but aside from a couple vague hints which only raise more questions, nothing is answered. I guess that's left for the next game, or the one after that, or the one after that - who knows?

The gameplay itself is great. You run around humongous levels laid out in 3 dimensional layers, fight soviet soldiers, robots, and mutated, cybernatically enhanced wildlife, find new weapons and nano batteries to aquire and upgrade your skills (hint: make double-jump and wall-jump your first two upgrades), and get lost while exploring. There's a helpful automap which takes a while to get used to - for those to whom it means anything, think of what Descent and Daggerfall automaps were like, and make them bigger by an order of magnitude. The optional nav arrow you can trigger at any time for *certain* quests was a life saver.

You can fire in any direction, twin-stick style, though you have to press the trigger to fire making it kinda impossible to jump, aim and shoot at the same time when using a 360 controller - but that turned out to be a none issue, and I didn't bother switching to keyboard + mouse.

The game uses a checkpoint save system, and the checkpoints are relatively rare, but I still found the game pretty easy perhaps because of the build I made. The fully upgraded LaserBeam with the two Energy skills made short work of enemies, upgraded armor kept my health from coming to 0 too quickly, and the Nano Trader skill tree, when maxed, effectively gave me unlimited ammo and health packs. Which kinda broke the game, probably. I even won a fight I wasn't supposed to, which actually broke the game for real and forced me to quit and restart at the last checkpoint to lose the fight like a good little doggy.

But I was genuinely addicted to the game for the 11 or so hours I played it. Could've probably finished it in half the time if I didn't spend so much time looking around for secrets, so I would recommend it to anyone who wouldn't mind that they're getting the equivalent of Fellowship of the Ring here.
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9 of 10 people (90%) found this review helpful
8.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 12
The Sun at Night is a metroidvania game set in a strangely unique setting. You're Laika, the first dog sent into orbit. However, instead of miserably burning along with the ship, you're now a robot dog, joining the Rebel force against the Soviets, who seem to dominate the Earth (and beyond).

I'll give you some time to take that in. Even the game's characters find it strange that you're a talking dog in silver armor. With a gun mounted on your back. Yes.

The concept probably got your interest already, I assume. Execution isn't nearly as great, and I'll try to explain the best I can.
I usually try to describe the games I review on the whole, but that takes up way too much space, and makes for a not so informative review. So I'll just try to sum up the general aspects that make the game succeed or fail as a game, and then make a few longer paragraphs of particular aspects.


Presentation-wise, it's a mixed bag. The bosses were usually pretty nicely designed, but there are several problems with the backgrounds. Some are simply ugly (and low-res), with lots of empty space (that's literally black, at times), but others make a big mistake by making the background and foreground exactly the same color. The first screen of the game has this problem. It makes it really hard to distinguish platforms from nothing, especially in a 2D game (not 2.5D).
Tied to that, is the fact that interactable and non-interactable objects in the game have no distinction. This means that instead of looking for an actual object when walking around, you'll have to look for a text pop-up. It makes exploration far less interesting.
Overall, is feels very un-polished and reminded me of Valley Without Wind. It's likely a hit or miss.

Sound Design was mixed as well. The sound effects were generic, and not very pleasant, I would say. The music was pretty good, though! If not misplaced, at times. It was very game-y, like taking old MegaMan style music and giving a slightly more modern sound. It's not as catchy, though. But it's not bad at all!

Combining these two, a problem I've had, was the fact that there was very little audio-visual response when you took damage or were close to dying. This led to many deaths in the start of the game, because I was simply not aware of how close I was to death.

As a segway, the game felt very weightless. The controls were a bit floaty, the weapons didn't really pack a punch, etc. etc. It didn't feel very good to actually play, which is unfortunate, as it is one of the most important aspects.


The game itself is mission based. There are 4 missions, and they're pretty huge. You have to follow a main objective, but you'll also find side-objectives. There's a LOT of backtracking in these maps, and you're likly to get lost. Why?
Well, while the game is 2D, the maps connect in a 3D planes, with inumerous intersections between the smaller rooms. The map function is useful, sure, but it takes a while getting used to.
The problem I have with this, is the fact that the maps are needlessly big. Most of the rooms are there to simply fill the map. There's a lot of empty space, meaningless rooms with a few enemies. This makes the game a lot more boring than it could have been, if the rooms were actually interesting. There's also no fast travel function, which means that you'll have to navigate the complicated maps a lot. To aggravate the problem, the map marks some rooms with a door, but doesn't tell you it's locked. So you might want to just see what's left, walk for 15 minutes, and then walk back, disappointed, because it was simply a locked door (it also happened that some rooms were locked from one side only -- I tried going through one door that was open, and then had to walk for 20 minutes because I couldn't go back the way I came).

In these maps, you'll fight enemies, and explore for Nano Batteries (which you use to buy upgrades), new Weapons, and Ammo. There are also lots of terminals and notes spread across, for you to learn about the story (these prove a problem, however, which I'll talk about later).
You have 3 Upgrade Sections: Utility, Offense and Defense. You can upgrade your speed, get Double/Wall Jumps, get a better Shield, upgrade each Weapon, etc. I liked the upgrade system, actually. It gave me a good sense of progression, and significantly altered some of the gameplay.

There's also a sort of crafting system for ammo and health/shield packs. You have Raw Nano, which you can use to fabricate these. You can also reduce them, if you have more than you need, and use it to get something more scarce. There's an upgrade that makes it more efficient, which is very useful. The problem with this, is that it takes like 3 clicks to reduce or fabricate something. It would take 20 times that number to fully fabricate ammo, for example. It takes a loong time to do this. Especially when you're reducing and fabricating repeatedly (since you get major returns, with the upgrade) to give yourself "infinite" resources. This could be solved with a simple counter. You could set it to fabricate 20 at once, and there, problem solved. But as it is, it's a very inefficient system overall. But it's good that it's there, I guess.

Last aspect about the mechanics, is the Save System. There are checkpoints spread out through the map (unevenly so). If you die, you'll have to replay everything from the last time you saved at the checkpoint. This could be fine, but it's not, since they're so far apart. Besides, it's easy to die because you were distracted. So, it leads to even more backtracking. It could be easily solved by saving at when entering a new room, or just manual saves. Or even get you all the way back to the checkpoint, but keeping your progress and collectables.

---

That's all. Now, what the game did interestingly, it how it wanted to construct its universe, with ideals and views on communism and war in general. This could have been stellar, but...

When you start the game, you're thrown into the rebel camp. The characters there have real personality, despite exchanging very few words with you. But as I said, some seemed genuinely good, and it would have been great to have a component focused heavily on them. But you're introduced to all these characters, and they're never developed. They're only in that first section, and then abandoned.
That's the first problem.

The second, is how it tries to pass its ideology to the player. It's all done through notes and terminals spread across the levels. However, it usually throws terms at you, without giving them proper context. If you're not familiar with communism and the cold war, then you're very likely not to understand 90% of it.
This is important. Context. You can't explain an ideal without its context or reasons. It will simply fall on deaf ears, understandably so.

Tied to this, is a huge overload of incoherent information. The notes spread across are often disconnected from each other, so you'll just be getting bits and pieces of an overall message, all fragmented. And there's A LOT of them in the game. So, after a while, since the player isn't getting the whole idea, he will simply start filtering through all of those, and closing his mind. I ended up reading most of them in diagonal, as the game went on, because of the sheer amount of text that didn't provide as much use as it should.
This could be helped by compressing the notes a bit more. There were more paragraphs of text it each than was necessary. If there were simply short, concise phrases, the game would have benefited more.

-

Overall, I think it was an overambitious project. You could see all the great ideas, but they seemed poorly executed and too rushed. Maybe they can solve all these problems in a future game. Because the ideas are there, definitely!
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39 of 66 people (59%) found this review helpful
1.0 hrs on record
Posted: August 12
In Soviet Russia, space dog talks to YOU! ...And does enough fetch quests that the dog jokes write themselves.

The Sun At Night is a weird game, and tough to recommend. Not because it's weird, but because it's...well, not very good. The controls are looser than a Russian harlot, the resolution is such that you'll constantly be assailed from enemies off-screen before you can react, the interface might as well be in Cyrillic for all the use it is, and the game seems to translate 'Metroidvania' into 'have giant confusing levels with large patches of nothing and a lot of backtracking'

Which is a shame, because in the moments it's not a chore to play, it's a charmingly off-beat little game with a lot of heart. I wanted to like it, you'll probably want to like it too. - It's clearly a labor of love. But sadly, even if you love something, once you send it into orbit on an experimental one way mission, it's going to crash and burn. And much like its namesake, Laika is not a glorious success - it's an ignominious end for a loveable mutt - death by faulty systems, and frankly she deserves better.
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6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
7.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 3
I was intrigued at first, since the game's art is lovely, its twinkly electronica well above par and its central concept freaking awesome: a rag-tag group of revolutionaries fighting an evil empire with a cute cyborg pooch of mysterious origin -- sort of a nifty "Lassie meets Gundam" thing.

But The Sun at Night isn't awesome. Here's what's wrong with it.

1. Combat is too generic. Same strategy works on all foes, and there aren't enough different foes.

2. The 2D maps are a rambling, sprawling mess with too much repetition.

3. The story is all over the place. There are just way too many concepts and plot threads flying around and the longer the game goes on, the more confusing it gets.

4. The writing in the dialog, reports, journal entries, etc. needs to be tighter. These written bits just go on forever, meandering hither and thither and who knows where else. By the time you get to the end of Private Yuri's letter, you can't even begin to put your finger on what he was trying to say.

I hear that MiniCore is making a sequel. I know they are capable of making a great game, and I'd really love to see them do it since the presentation and core ideas of The Sun at Night are so appealing -- but they need to try a lot harder this time.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 4
  • Neat looking cutscenes
  • Neat looking UI

  • Not so great looking artwork
  • Many platforms can get easily confused with the background/foreground and vice versa
  • Pretty badly animated models
  • Constantly having to check the map on where to go
  • The map itself can get very confusing to use
  • Gameplay felt heavily lacking
  • Buttload of boring side quests
  • Main quests involve much strenous exploration
  • Not so stellar combat up against ground enemies.

I could not find this game any fun overall. Both side and main quests were just the most uninteresting and unappealing parts of this game and I just couldn't really be motivated to keep going with this game going from one long & boring exploration from one objective to an another and even more unmotivated because the actual shooting or combat or whatever just started to feel boring.


Reminder: Don't just ignore Greenlight games you don't like, downvote them.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 13
the cg is good... that's the only pros I think

the in-game movement and control is sub-par..
almost no animation when taking damage..
a long loading screen and not slick animation everytime move to another map..
Ok gameplay, if you are into this type of action like me
mediocre soundtrack, which I hate..
bad default keyboard mapping..
and bad user interface...
It's still unpolished by my standard

I haven't play long enough to dig into plot and story, so no comment on them
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.8 hrs on record
Posted: December 14
The Sun at Night is a bizarre mix of metroidvania, adventure game, and a little bit of Contra. The problem is that it doesn't do any of these bits exceptionally well. The exploration and backtracking isn't any fun, and mostly a chore; the environments themselves are rarely interesting to look at; and the game is flat out ugly. The sprite animations on every character that isn't Laika are terrible and would be dated for a game released 20 years ago (think less pixelated Ultima graphics). The sound isn't much better, with stock effects for most sounds, and boring chiptune-esque music on constant loop in an area. All of these could be ignored if the gameplay was tight or the story interesting, but neither is true. Most of the NPCs have names, but little to no actual personality. Meanwhile the story wanders between boring cliches and pants-on-head ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥.

tl;dr: An interesting idea wrapped up in bad design decisions, sloppy implementation, and a serious case of "developers first game."

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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
8.7 hrs on record
Posted: December 20
Needlessly complicated, nigh-incomprehensible maps and menu interfaces, many poor design decisions causing various problems with the control system, boring, excessively large maps, through which you are expected to backtrack and slog through several times, simplistic, unpolished gameplay mechanics, lack of variety in enemies and combat...

The theme and story are kinda ingratiating, but not nearly enough so to overcome all these monumental issues.

Pretty damned poor, all things considered.
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
20.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 27
I've nearly completed the game now and feel that I should be able to offer some relevant observations. Maybe I'm just a sucker for dogs, but I've actually found that the Laika character and her interactions/observations are what have driven me to complete the game.

Pros:
- Laika, reasonably well written story and interactions
- Upgrade system
- Combat system
- Platforming
- Art style and UI

Cons:
- Lack of variety in quests, lots of fetch quests
- It's easy to get lost in the vastness of the areas, the map works, but unless you're from the old school and played the original Doom, etc., with old style automaps, it'll be quite confusing

Overall, I'd give it 75-80%, it's been an enjoyable distraction.
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
25.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 28
The Sun at Night is worth playing for the story alone. The world and characters are nicely done. The alternative history setting is great. Other parts of the game are not so wonderful though. Art is all over the place: the propaganda posters and most of the environment art is great, while characters, monsters and character portraits leave much to be desired. As do animation, combat, platforming, enemy AI and bosses.
But! Despite of the flaws I really enjoyed the game. Levels are enormous and for the most part are really fun to explore. Laika is adorable and character customization system is surprisingly good. I wish the devs would go full metroidvania with this though and tie exploration to various upgrades of Laika's suit.
I shall definitely be looking forward for the sequel.
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
6.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 1
Pros:
+The controls work great with mouse+keyboard.They don't feel sloppy or loose at all.
+Charming art.
+Many upgrades to customize your character.
+Large Levels to explore.
+Serviceable Map.
+Optional side quests .
+Most enemies don't respawn so exploring isn't a pain.


Cons:
-It's rather short.(Rushing though, just following the main objective and ignoring side quests I finished in about 6 hours)
-It's meant to be the first part of a trilogy,so the story is incomplete.
-Health and ammo pick ups are very plentiful,so it's a bit on the easy side.
-Could be easy to get lost in the large Levels.

The Levels are large,almost maze like and many of the rooms in each area look the same, so it could be easy to get lost. but the map ,while a bit tricky to use does a decent job of helping you navigate the "3D" layouts of the levels.
I'd also recommend turning on the option to keep the navigation arrow on screen at all times.Almost all the main objectives( and a few of the side quest) use it to show you the correct path to take.So if you just want to rush though and not explore much you can.
I rushed though it like that when I played the first time,I say "first time" Because I fully expect to play it again some day when I'm feeling more patient, exploring more and completing more side quests.

There are many small notes are scattered around the levels for you to find and read if you want,these help fill out the story and build up the world narrative making it feel more alive.

There is a some backtracking,Usually I HATE Backtracking in games,but it didn't really bother me too much in this because most enemies don't respawn after you defeat them so it's quick and easy to run back through rooms you have cleared before.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
2.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 3
I am going to recommend this game as it atleast, tries, and it was part of an IndieRoyale sale that had 10 games for $1.29. However, if steam offered a neutral option I would choose that, as the game does enough to avoid the 'No' rating.

Positives:
- makes some attempt at a fairly original story, and keeps the controls simple so you dont need to be a rocket scientist to work it out.
- The game is pretty well integrated with gamepad control. Its quite easy to get the controls and move about.
- Its a blend of story telling game and side scrolling shooter which is good for killing a couple of hours.
- has steam cards.

Negatives:
- the game has too much dialogue and at times it seems like I spend more time reading conversations than I do actually playing anything.
- At times it is unclear what we are meant to do. I wandered around aimlessly before stumbling upon a woman who sent me on a mission. Had I missed the tent god knows how long I would be doing crap all (and giving this game a negative).
- the game gets unresponsive and crashes occasionally when saving. It still seems to save so I can quickly restart where I was.

Ultimately its not a bad game for the price. I sure as hell wouldn't pay more than $1 for it. The dialogue, while being a strong point, is also its weakness in that there is too much and at times appears to be trying to hard.
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21 of 42 people (50%) found this review helpful
1.7 hrs on record
Posted: August 2
The sun at night.

It's platformer where you play as a cybernetic Dog in alternate reality , fighting soviets with your back-mounted plasma cannon.
I couldn't be making this ♥♥♥♥ if i tried, trust me.

The game runs okay, 30fps at all times, and while the video options are limited, it looks decent.
But, it is a Love or Hate kind of game , either it grabs you by the balls, or you just leave.

If i were to go with recommend, or not, i'd go with Recommend, Because it isn't that bad, but it lacks few things.
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4 of 9 people (44%) found this review helpful
2.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 27
Positive:
-Awesome art style, cute dog themed platformer idea.
-Trading Cards.

Negative:
-Scenario is weird.
-Menu, items, areas etc. are too complicated.
-Gameplay is hard as hell, but puzzles are soo easy.
-All the rest.

Score: 2/10. Not recommended.
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2 of 9 people (22%) found this review helpful
2.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 16
handsome dog...
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