There's always something vaguely disappointing about picking up a tablet or a smartphone to play a game and having to use on-screen buttons to control the action.
While almost everything else we do on our touchscreen devices has new, intuitive methods of interaction, games often feel stuck in the past.
Not so with NightSky. Here's a game that uses the touchscreen to its advantage, letting you swipe and tap your way to victory. It's a method that makes the game memorable, and in the overcrowded App Store that's something worth an awful lot.
No light pollution
The game is all about getting a magical black ball from one side of the screen to the other. You control its movements by swiping left and right. The faster you swipe the farther the ball will roll. Pushing on the screen holds the ball still.
You'll navigate through the environment - which is made up of hills, ramps, gaping abysses, and a variety of intriguing contraptions - solving simple physics puzzles as you go.
You might need to knock a ball down a hill to fill a gap that you couldn't otherwise cross, or tap a switch to loosen a plank to spin across. Every nook and cranny of the world has a purpose, and it's up to you to find out what that purpose is.
Different surfaces offer up different problems. Some let you use friction to work your way up them, while others are so slippy your magic ball will fly off at the merest hint of spin. Overcoming a section is often a matter of solving the puzzle in your head and then trying to get your fingers to replicate the solution.
There are collectibles to find and mysteries to uncover, but the real joy of NightSky comes in the frantic swipes as you try to coax your magic orb over the crest of a particularly steep hillock.
This is a game filled with eureka moments and tiny triumphs, and each success widens the smile on your face.
If you're looking for a game that shows how simple, touchscreen-focused controls can create an elegant, hugely entertaining experience, then NightSky is well worth your time.
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