Reviewing Humble Bundle 5: NightSky HD

The Humble Bundle is an awesome way to get some great new games for a great price, but also support developers and charities at the same time. The 5th iteration of Humble Bundle has six games up for offer, some of which are making their Android debut through the sale. We're going to take a look through these titles one by one, starting off with NightSky HD.

Hang with us after the break and learn a little bit about NightSky, a fun puzzle game cast in black and white scenery.

The overall design of NightSky reminds us most of popular games like World of Goo and Contre Jour, with a gloomy black and white style accented by pops of color. The main levels in the game are a solid black color, with the backgrounds changing to look like the night sky (go figure). The interface is simple, so simple in fact that it becomes restrictive, which gives the game some of its difficulty. The main controls in the game are swipes to the left in right, which move a sphere through the levels. As the game progresses, you're introduced to new ways to manipulate the levels by tap and holding on the screen to stop the sphere, swiping up and down to invert gravity, and tapping different elements in the levels to interact with them.

Levels are constructed of numerous "areas", because as you move the sphere the level doesn't scroll with it. Once you reach the end of one panel, you simply start at the beginning of the next one. Some areas are simple and you just roll on by, others are difficult with jumps or weird mechanics that get in the way. In many cases you'll need to bring along something from one to the other or speed up in one to make a jump in the next. The visually disconnected but still technically connected areas add an interesting dynamic.

Once you get a few levels deep into NightSky, it becomes a bit of a mind bender. In contrast to more straight-forward games, you're not rewarded with points or a score to complete levels. It's often quite easy to just blow through levels without any difficulty, but that's not really the point of the game. Certain areas -- but not every area -- have hidden stars to collect, which can be next to impossible to find. Because the levels aren't well defined (on purpose), you end up having to just randomly roll around to try and find secret passages and hidden stars.

The somewhat gloomy and dark design along with the simple soundtrack make it easy to get lost in NightSky for much longer than you probably should. The game mechanics are simple to pick up but eventually get hard enough to provide some challenge. There's great replay value in this game because whether or not you've "completed" a level is kind of up to the person playing, which is something that isn't always found in other games.

NightSky HD is making its Android appearance as part of Humble Bundle 5, and even on its own is a great reason to donate and pick it up for yourself. Be sure to keep your eyes on Android Central in the coming days where we'll be looking at the rest of the games included in Humble Bundle 5.

Andrew Martonik

Andrew was an Executive Editor, U.S. at Android Central between 2012 and 2020.