The Sun and Moon Review (PS4)
Daniel Linssen’s ‘The Sun and Moon’ is a puzzle platformer that was created in a mere 24 hours during Ludum Dare 29. It was the winner out of the almost 2500 entries. Looking and feeling like the stereotypical, expertly polished, Indie platformer it has an ace up its sleeve that leaves its rivals reeling under. Will The Sun and Moon be able to shine brighter than the others or will it be left to freeze on the dark side of your games list.
The aim of the game is to gather all the other balls with your ball whilst avoiding danger and even enemies (sometimes) who are relentless in their chase. The main dangers are spike stars and falling into the abyss. The game uses insta deaths and level restarts, so may the odds be in your favour as you head to the portal and glorious safety of the timing screen. Having never completed any level in under the fastest time I am hugely impressed at the keen thumb and timing skills of those that made it. Once all the balls of the level are collected the portal becomes active, so no shortcuts. In some levels the portal is tantalisingly close to the start point. However, you won’t see a ball (other than your own) in sight. The ultimate tease in gaming, where the end is in sight yet can’t be utilised until the rest of the level is searched.
The timing sheet is where the replayability comes in. Those of you who are determined to be better than the rest will have a ball of a time trying to beat the preset times. I myself am more than happy in succeeding at levels as they become increasingly difficult to complete. A definite nominee for the smashed controller award of the year, The Sun and Moon will leave you feeling happier in the level select screen than in actually playing each level. However, this is not to its detriment, rather it shows how addictive the game is, as you are semi-forced into going into the next level by your own drive rather than flashing lights and promises of greatness.
Simplicity is prevalent in this game, no more so than in its artistic style. You control a ball, that collects other balls, which avoids spikes, and hopes for the comfort of platforms.
The game makes use of a “momentum” mechanic that reacts more akin-ly to buoyancy when you are diving under the surface of the platforms. Whilst diving, you are able to perform some impressive feats of intelligence and acrobatics as you navigate your ball through countless traps, over perilous drops, and into the end portal. The momentum aspect is only when your ball is hurtling into the pseudo-unknown of the skies, where spikes and platforms could possibly be lying in wait.
The Sun and Moon is a great puzzle platformer that leaves you with a sense of gratitude that it is so punishing and rewarding. It will be a worthy addition to your game catalog.
8 diving balls out of 10