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iPhone App Video Review: Terra Noctis

by Andrew Koziara

Terra Noctis is a new classic platformer throwback from developers Fire Fruit Forge, published by BulkyPix. The game borrows elements from several timeless classics, from Mario to Kirby to Donkey Kong Country, and mixes them with a unique premise and gorgeous visuals to create a thoroughly enjoyable game.

Terra Noctis is simply Latin for “The Land of the Night,” which makes sense considering the premise. You play as Allen, a nightmare creature who is just not scary enough to graduate nightmare school. He sets off on a journey to find the scariest nightmares out there, hoping to learn a thing or two while he’s at it. Along the way, he makes plenty of new friends and enemies. The story and setting really help set this game apart, and the characters are endearing enough that you really begin to care for their plight.

The game is a basic side scrolling platformer. Make your way through each level, double jump over enemies and obstacles, find a variety of collectibles and secret bonus areas, and eventually reach the end. Breakable blocks, bouncy pads, spike pits, and several other genre staples make an appearance. In order to achieve 100 percent of the level, you’ll need to find and collect all the pink fairies, scare tokens, and the hidden golden coin. Things like fairies and golden coins are actually used to unlock new levels and worlds, so they’re not just for show. You’ll also get to make use of a unique projectile attack, though it controls rather awkwardly. Allen is even joined by his very own nightmare version of “Navi,” who helps point out secrets and even acts as a flying vehicle at times. Each world is of course concluded with a boss fight against the resident big bad nightmare.

The art style looks like a beautiful color pencil drawing come to life, and the use of vibrant cool colors is great. The soundtrack is also very soothing, and sounds even better through headphones. This game is by no means perfect. There are some glitches, it can get a bit repetitive, and the floaty physics take some getting used to, but those negatives pale in comparison to the breath of fresh air this game is. OpenFeint is supported in this three dollar, iOS Universal title. If you have any love for platformers, definitely give it a try. It’s a modern classic in its own right.

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