Gliding over places that no other goddess have glided over before. Mostly, anyway.
'Quality' and 'Wiiware' are two words hard to come by in a single sentence this day and age. Every week, we get a slew of titles for Nintendo's Wii downloadable service, but it normally comes as a surprise when a game is actually as good as NyxQuest: Kindred Spirits, from Spanish developer Over The Top Games.
[image1]NyxQuest tells the story of Nyx (duh), a goddess from Olympus that befriends Greek mythological icon Icarus. One day, Icarus goes missing, plummeting to the earth, and it's Nyx's mission to come to the rescue, flying, jumping, and pushing her way through twelve interconnected side-scrolling levels.
The first thing that will strike you when you boot up NyxQuest is how gorgeous it looks. Levels are basically huge panoramic combinations of drawings and 3D objects, which are shaded to look like paintings, and both mesh very well together. Most stages are set in desert-like ruined environments, which provide most of the game's challenge through various platforming scenarios.
Nyx can be directly controlled by the Wii's nunchuk, and similarly to the platformer hit LostWinds, the remote acts as a magical wand imbued with the power of the gods, or more specifically, the ability to interact with the environment. Since Nyx spends most of the game unarmed, it'll come down to how well you use the objects you come across to defeat enemies, protect her from hazards, and glide her through gaps. The gods provide a bit of help along the way too, giving your "godly extension of abilities that runs on batteries" (dirty, dirty minds!) other special powers, like control over wind gusts and the ability to handle fireballs.
[image2]Both NyxQuest and Kid Icarus have similar settings and characters, but the similarities stop there. NyxQuest quickly comes into its own as more of a simple platformer, a quick, reflex-intensive Wii game that will have you minding two spots on the screen at once, which I will assure you is no easy task. The game makes the tasks you have to perform easier by making Nyx move at a slower pace than most platform game heroes, giving you a bit of breathing room to clear the way or set up a route with the remote.
There are plenty of great moments, like surfing sand dunes on the top of a toppled pillar, not to mention some boss fights that require you to juggle multiple tasks. It never gets too hectic, but it won't hold your hand in any way whatsoever. Once you're taught how to use your tools, the games send you off with a "good luck, see you at the end of the level". This makes challenges difficult and forces you to get a handle on strategy as fast as possible.
I could spend paragraph after paragraph going on about how refreshing it is to see this type of game on Wiiware. NyxQuest respects the tenants of a classic platformer, and improves the formula by taking advantage of some of the Wii's unique features. It is a worthwhile adventure for 1,000 Wii Points that shouldn't be missed by anyone who appreciates a finely crafted, beautiful, and challenging game.