The steady flow of WiiWare games can make it difficult to find a game that stands out. However, Over the Top Games has come up with a beguiling platformer that you know is going to rise above the others as soon as you get started because of its endearing story and captivating visuals. NyxQuest: Kindred Spirits, (formerly known as Icarian: Kindred Spirits) is about Nyx, a lovely winged girl from the heavens on a quest to find her dear friend Icarus, who has unfortunately taken a tumble back down to Earth. We made our way through the first few worlds and were impressed with the game's simplicity, beautiful environments and enchanting music.
NyxQuest: Kindred Spirits is loosely based on Greek mythology. We learn from the introduction that Icarus, a young man from Earth with wax wings and a penchant for exploration, flew up into the heavens and befriended a young goddess named Nyx. The girl and her world disappear each night, so Icarus returns home to make the long commute back to heaven each day to see her. However, one day, a bright beam of light scorches the Earth, and in the process, Icarus' wings melt as he falls from the sky. Once Nyx learns of what happened, she immediately goes down to the mortal realm to find him, ignoring the rules of Olympus. You play as Nyx, armed with nothing but the ability to fly and glide temporarily across the blazing the sands of ancient Greece. With the help of Zeus and the other gods, you must find a way to reunite the kindred spirits.
You control Nyx with the analog stick, and when you press the A button, she'll jump and flap her wings. She can reach certain heights with her flying ability, but you can only press the A button up to five times before she reaches her maximum altitude. After reaching her limit, she must touch the ground again before taking flight. When you hold the Z button, she can also glide over the harsh sands of the desert, and a blue bar indicates how much time she has left before she'll touch down. Early on, Zeus will help you on your quest by granting you some of his power. Giant columns and huge blocks of stone can be moved by pointing with the Wii Remote and holding the B button, so that you may make your way safely through ruined temples. You can also grab fireballs with the B button and use them to break down walls or dispose of straggly harpies hovering in your way. There is a two-player option here, in which one player controls Nyx and the other player harnesses the power of the gods.
From what we played, the game was not too challenging, but the difficulty did seem to increase as we got closer to finding Icarus. None of the roadblocks were that difficult to get past, but you'll need some brainpower to help Nyx get past some of the hazards. The platforming never felt tricky or impossible, and with boss battles, it was about timing and patience. The game was well paced and did an excellent job of introducing different elements, so you'll never feel overwhelmed or get stuck as you progress. Checkpoints are frequent enough so that you aren't set too far back if you happen to get killed. Urns with healing hearts are also located throughout the levels, and there are relics to collect, which are tucked away in the harder to reach areas.
The painted landscape is gorgeous to look at, even if it may feel like you're just hopping from one scorching desert area to another. But as you're floating from one crumbling pillar to the next, it feels as though you're moving through a majestic painting with cloud-filled skies and a never-ending stretch of golden sand. The music is also incredible; the tranquil plucking sounds of a harp, as well as the ancient sounds of such instruments as the santur or duduk, make you feel as if you're in another land. The melodies fit perfectly with what is unfolding onscreen, and the music is good enough to listen to on its own.
We were pleasantly surprised with NyxQuest: Kindred Spirits and look forward to playing through more of the levels. Keep an eye out on the WiiWare channel because the game should be coming out in the near future. We'll update you with a release date and pricing as soon as we have more information.
[Update: NyxQuest will be released on August 10.]