Nominated as a IGF Seamus McNally Finalist, NightSky is an ambient action-puzzle game that offers a gameplay experience unlike any other—cerebral challenges fill uniquely designed picturesque worlds. The player must maneuver a sphere by using realistic physics to advance; each of these worlds is broken into different areas.
User reviews: Very Positive (539 reviews)
Release Date: Mar 1, 2011

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About This Game

Nominated as a IGF Seamus McNally Finalist, NightSky is an ambient action-puzzle game that offers a gameplay experience unlike any other—cerebral challenges fill uniquely designed picturesque worlds. The player must maneuver a sphere by using realistic physics to advance; each of these worlds is broken into different areas. The original soundtrack by experimental jazz musician, Chris Schlarb will further heighten the surreal experience.

Key features:

  • 2D platform/puzzle-based gameplay
  • Advanced 2D physics model
  • Multiple difficulties with unique topography
  • 11 massive levels, each with expansive areas to explore
  • Multiple “vehicles” each with specific uses and dynamics physics
  • Additional secrets and unlockables

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows XP or newer
    • Processor: Intel Atom or above
    • Memory: 512MB RAM
    • Graphics: 3D graphics card
    • DirectX®: N/A
    • Hard Drive: 100MB
Helpful customer reviews
6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
23.2 hrs on record
Posted: February 14
NightSky is a very calm, ambient game with challenging puzzles and platforming sections. Just like other titles by Nifflas, it has a quite unique atmosphere. I definitely recommend it.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
7.6 hrs on record
Posted: March 7
Peaceful game. Perfect to chillout after a stressful day.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.5 hrs on record
Posted: March 29
Pretty decent with nice atmosphere and overall worth to play as you can have some trouble with alternative version.
Solid 7,0/10
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.3 hrs on record
Posted: February 28
Great puzzle-platformer for those in love with the atmosphere of loneliness.
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
2.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 11, 2014
Beat the whole thing in 2.4 hours. I would say it's one of my favorite puzzle platformers. As always with games like this, it's not easy to describe what makes it fun - the game as a whole is just designed in a way that it's pleasant, relaxing. and entertaining through the whole game. At no time in the game did I not enjoy myself, so however short you think it may be, you're in for a really good time throughout the whole game. I'll do my best to try to explain why it's so good.

The experimental jazz soundtrack combined with the nature soundtrack is done very well. If you're used to the typical indie game mistake where you have a blastingly loud short chiptune loop that's played all the time, you're in for a breath of fresh air. It's as relaxing in the same way as going to a secluded beach or forest trail. It invites you into a mindset that helps you appreciate the minimalist art style even more. You won't be getting listening fatigue from this. The sound effects for every interaction sound great, too. I especially like the sound the ball makes when it clinks into things. It's just very polished and pleasant all around on this front.

Unlike more chaotic physics platformers like Gish, you never feel like you're being cheated out of success or struggling due to the random nature of the physics. They give you a great amount of control over the ball - the ability to switch to a high-traction or high-speed mode makes it very precise. I never felt like the ball wouldn't do what I want - you do have to keep in mind that there's no air control though, something that you might have trained into yourself from playing other standard platformers. The game also features several levels with a wide variety of vehicles, and levels where you can't even control the ball but control elements in each stage. Those are also fun to interact with and add fun variety. Overall, I found the gameplay to be a perfect level of challenge throughout. Each of the levels is a small, self-contained puzzle. When you die, you restart from the beginning of the level. This makes death hardly frustrating at all - you just get another chance to try what you messed up on instead of having to go through a whole bunch of stuff you already solved and are bored with. The challenge towards the end, where you have to collect stars by replaying levels and searching for them, is also not as frustrating as you might expect. It's usually pretty obvious where stars might be (and it tells you which stages have unfound stars), and the levels are so small that you really don't have to search far.

The visuals are very easy on the eyes and very easy to parse while also being beautiful. Just the simple gradient and other small details enhance the relaxing aesthetc.

In sum, I would describe the game as more of an action and movement oriented puzzle platformer (as opposed to more "sit and think" type platformers). I found the experience of playing it to be vaguely similar to the Trials games (except for the aesthetic). If you like puzzle platformers, definitely get this game.

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4 of 7 people (57%) found this review helpful
0.3 hrs on record
Posted: February 8
Classic, Relaxing & something everyone should try out.
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4 of 7 people (57%) found this review helpful
1.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 6, 2014
There can be no darkness without light. Once I fought a great battle with my own shadow, an epic fight, over continents and oceans. He ran, and I pursued him, and still we chase each other across the sky. I love him, and I fear him. Night wins, then day wins. Yesterday I was beaten by a different strength. Dimly, I felt the blows, and was bruised. I cried, and my tears were wet, and amazed me, and I cupped them in small fingers and stared at them, tasted them in the dirty cracks of skin. They taste of the sea. I have asked him to find me, for I am empty inside. Someone has buried me deep in layers of skin and bone and muscle. Someone has come and stolen all my dreams.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
6.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 12, 2014
A quaint, sublime, simple, and creative puzzle game that is both fun and challenging. Playing this game fills you with a certain rare sense of enjoyment. Expect to play it multiple times (partly because it's so easy to play and enjoy) to revisit this feeling - it's a fuzzy sort of nostalgia.
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2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
3.6 hrs on record
Posted: December 23, 2014
Time of completion: 3 hours and 10 minutes
Date of writing the review: 23.December.2014
My rating: 6,5/10
Tutorial on how to find all the hidden stars can be found here: CLICK
I started this game, thinking that it would be similar to Limbo, which was my favorite game of 2010 and.... how wrong was I.....
The game is spooky, yes. The music and the gloomy look of it is really appealing, but it was just not exacly what I was expecting.
The puzzles for the most part are very easy and wouldn't take too long to complete, this comes from a guy, who always has a hard time completing puzzle / platform games.
The mechanics are interesting, but very unrealistic. Most of the time the ball you controll has very unrealistic movements.

In conclusion, I do recommend this game for those of you who want a short and relaxed experience and don't want spending a huge amount of time solving puzzles. I certainly liked it, but was expecting something better, still a good game !
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19 of 21 people (90%) found this review helpful
0.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 29, 2013
NightSky is a well-crafted little physics puzzler. You maipulate a small sphere through a series of 2D mazes with obstacles and puzzles.

In a single sentence: "Limbo" meets "The Ball".

The visuals are striking. It looks like perpetual sunset, with silohuettes of Edward Gorey-style monsters lurking in the background, which are actually more interesting than the game itself. Good sound, too.

Pretty good game on the cheap if you like environmental puzzlers.
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9 of 9 people (100%) found this review helpful
11.0 hrs on record
Posted: August 6, 2014
I'm not normally a fan of physics-based puzzle games but this puzzle platformer is charming, smart and well-crafted. Most levels require precise platforming skills but it's still a thinking man's game. I've played other games by Nifflas and his distinct style of gameplay, graphics and music once again work in so many levels. Recommended.

P.S. You need 12 stars to unlock all the stages in the last level. You can go back anytime you want but I recommend collecting them as you progress because getting to the last level and realizing you need the stars to fully complete the game can be an unpleasant surprise (as it was for me).
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9 of 9 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.5 hrs on record
Posted: July 14, 2014
While I certainly won't say I necessarily agree with the price of this game (especially since I got it from a humble bundle pretty cheap), I will say that this is a very nice, relaxing game that's definitely worth a playthrough.

It's a very simple game, so don't expect any super in-depth challenging gameplay out of this, however there are a few moments that will require you to think a little more critically. Generally, the game remains pretty easy and just as relaxing all the way through. Definitely a good thing to do if you need to clear your mind and if you're stressed out.

The forefront visuals are very basic and unfortunately there isn't much support for high resolutions at all, so fullscreen will have you super zoomed in sadly, but for what it's worth, the backgrounds are very nice looking and are probably the strongest point of the visuals. The sound is also really nice. Not very much sound as far as what you do, but the very, very calming soundtrack that's more or less just ambience really helps add to the relaxing mood of the game.

All and all, I'll say I recommend it. Even though it's another indie puzzle game, this one has always stood out for me as one of the best designed.
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9 of 10 people (90%) found this review helpful
8.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 25, 2013
I wanted to recommend NightSky for a little while now.
A must-have if you enjoy puzzle games based on physics!

Gameplay :
You control a black ball going on an adventure through several shadowed landscapes; such as Industrial, littorals, forests, caves, ruins, etc; You will resolve many puzzles using the physics and your ball's two main powers (Speed-up/Slow-Down).
Now that should sound fairly simple, but you'll quickly notice how mean some of the latest levels really are.

Story :
Even though the storyline stays a bit in the background, it completes the game with a nice touch of mysteriousness and fascination.

Music :
Soft and relaxing, gives that "end of the day" kind of feeling, which fits very well to the name of the game. The use of a trumpet is clever and kind of surprising, yet enjoyable.

Content :
The lenght is actually very good! There's a dozen of chapters, each of them containing ~30 puzzles with very interesting mechanics, such as reversed gravity, momentum control, improvised pinball, balancing structures, different vehicles or even giant Rube Goldberg machines. And a very nice work on the variety of their layouts!

When you're done with the game, you have the opportunity to start the "Advanced mode".
That name simply hides a great challenge, for every single level has been modified and revisited to be harder and very, VERY challenging!

As for the explorers and other tricky challenge hunters, there's a few stars hidden in some levels, both in the normal and advanced mode. Brace yourself if you want to retrive them all!
Beware, skills required,

You won't have time to get bored!
NightSky - 17/20
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10 of 12 people (83%) found this review helpful
2.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 25, 2013
Fun puzzle game involving momentum, quite relaxing as each level doesn't take incredibly long to play and the atmosphere and music are pretty fitting for the mood.
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9 of 11 people (82%) found this review helpful
9.1 hrs on record
Posted: January 7, 2014
It's a calm and enjoyable little game. It's a bit simple, but that works in its atmosphere. Ten dollars admittedly might be too high of a price, but if you can get it for less, it's not bad to play through, especially if you need to relax. It has a few good puzzling hours in it, and even the more difficult levels aren't game-ruining.
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110 of 205 people (54%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Posted: December 18, 2011
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6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
3.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 15, 2014
Normally, a $10 game that I spend under 3 hours on would need to be really good in order to get a thumbs-up from me, and NightSky is not a really good game. It's not bad as indie puzzle platformers go, don't get me wrong, but a lot of the levels feel like one-off proof-of-concept gimmicks. (Admittedly, I only played Normal and then enough of Alternative to realize that it was basically just the same levels reworked to be jerkish, for the most part.)

That said, the reason this is getting a thumbs up is basically just that it was full of neat gimmick levels and the art, sound, and level design really clicked with me as something neat. So, I dunno. It's not a glowing recommendation, more just a "buy it if you really like puzzle platformers, ridiculous vehicles, or the artstyle" recommendation.
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6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
6.1 hrs on record
Posted: September 24, 2014
Nightsky has been 90% off during major Steam Sales, I recommend picking it up then.

In the meantime, go Google "Nifflas" (the creator) and pick up Knytt and Within A Deep Forest off his site for free - if you like those games you'll like Nightsky.
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.0 hrs on record
Posted: December 30, 2013
Game: NightSky
Genre: Puzzle
Developer: Nicalis
System: Steam (PC)
Total Score: 75/100
Value Score: 7.5/10

• Story: 4/10
o NightSky's storyline revolves around a young child who one day went to the beach and found a illuminating sphere. When he grabbed hold of it, it felt like it was alive, he decided to take it home. On that night however he started to have these strange dreams as the sphere itself. You play as the sphere in the child's dream as you will go through a strange world within the dream.

• Characters: 4/10
o Basically there are absolutely no characters at all but however where the game lacks up to actual characters the personification of the player as a sphere going up against the entire dream world which is consisted of imagery that contains all sorts of beings and different events make up for it, this is however only if the player uses his or her imagination to even consider that.

• GamePlay: 10/10
o NightSky's main aspect is its gameplay, as a physics game it consist of several puzzle elements that the player must solve to get past each section and level within the game. There will be parts where you will be able to increase or decrease the speed of the sphere, you would have to use gravity and pull, and other moments where you must simply use the environment itself to bridge your way a path to the destination. The game also comes in two difficulty modes - one for beginners and a challenging mode for those who are experienced in the game and want a more difficult challenge to the game overall.

• Graphics: 9/10
o One of the best aspects to NightSky is the imagery which is present in the game - it brings a whole new level of design and depth into the playing environment for players. You will be awe and left mouth open at the beautiful visuals which illuminate quite well with the music and the overall gameplay. Despite the fact that the game has mostly dark tones, NightSky does incredibly well in terms of visual effects and design.

• Sound: 9/10
o The sound effects in NightSky go hand to hand with the eerie music and the dark themed visuals. You will get chills from the beautiful sound effects as each stage will have certain sound effects as if wind blowing in a forest or plains, the gears chiming in factories, etc.

• Music: 9/10
o NightSky's music is quite soothing and relaxing, if you are into orchestral tracks which are peaceful and soothing, you will enjoy NightSky's OST. It brings a eerie feel to the touch that goes well along with the sound effects and the visual appearance the game has.

• Length: 4/10
o Possibly the weakest aspect in NightSky is its length - the game will not take you more than 3 hours to complete on the first try. The game's multiple difficulty and the fact that you would have to collect/complete certain hidden stages in order to unlock the final level will of course allow you to play a few more hours in the game however NightSky is a type of game where you can pretty much start and finish it in one day or go little by little and finish it within a week or two.

• Replay Value: 8/10
o NightSky's replay value relies on its puzzle capabilities - the multiple difficulty adds not only another challenge but brings a whole new dimension to the overall gameplay as if you are playing a second game. Although this might not seem like a lot, it really is in terms of content. Along with that you are free to go back to each level and each stage to go back to see if there are multiple ways to finish a level or as a challenge to see if you can pass a level in a different way.

• Player Value: 8/10
o NightSky is a short and still enjoyable game with amazing visuals, soothing soundtrack and a unique style of gameplay which will be enjoyable for anyone especially those who love puzzles or those who play games casually. You will not find anything wrong with the purchase once you start this game, it is highly recommended to get this fine amazing piece of art and incredible indie game.
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.9 hrs on record
Posted: June 7, 2012
Отличная аркада. Потрясающий и захватывающий мир игры детально проработан. Все уровни выполнены в темных тонах и представляют собой либо закат, либо ночь. В игре весьма хорошая физика и многие уровни пройти с первого раза не получится. Но кроме того, каждый уровень имеет тут свои особенности в виде измененной гравитации или невозможности ускорения. Отличная и спокойная музыка создает настроение для прохождения и помогает расслабиться.
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