I played Perpetual Night during Rezzed 2016 and I gave you a little preview of how it plays. After the event, I received a demo build of the game thanks to the awesome people at Studio Genkan.
Before I begin: Perpetual Night is still on Kickstarter and at the time of publishing this article, there are four days left in the campaign and still a long way to go, so if you like what you see and you’re intrigued enough to help make this a reality, then please head on to campaign page and back this project!
Perpetual Night is a side-scrolling platforming adventure in development and crowdfunding. You play as a girl dropped in a mysterious dimension-hopping castle. The fortress and its master have kidnapped the girl’s brother, another in a long line of victims taken from their worlds and put to work in the castle as slaves. Starting in the bowels of the castle, the girl makes her way through the levels, overcoming obstacles and traps along the way. But there are areas she can’t reach on her own, places where strange eye-like mechanisms shine blue light. Stepping into the beams transforms her into a shadowy moose-like thing, but only while she stays in the light. In this form—the transformation being painful and dehumanising for her—she can climb walls, run and jump very far, but she loses the ability to use mechanisms, even those as simple as levers. This is a base form, one driven purely on instinct—at least that’s what I get from the behaviour and playstyle.
During the demo, the type of challenges you play are mostly platforming and climbing using the girl’s twin forms, with the human one used for tripping levels and pulling objects as well as climbing conventional ladders. The Shadow form takes care of everything else, particularly the tight platforming moments, where you need to know exactly when and where to jump to make it across. The challenges get more complex as you advance and if these are an example of how things will be in the final game, it only makes me more excited. The best are the later ones with the green light that makes the transformation last a bit longer and the rooms have timing puzzles based on tricky platforming while the green effect lasts. The very last rooms even introduce a one-shot killing red light you need to learn to avoid. It’s pretty cool stuff.
What surprised me the most though is how tight the controls were, even on keyboard. The jumps are precise and you don’t slide off, as it tends to happen with many platformers where it seems like your character has grease under their shoes. Some of the animations are still a bit stiff and wonky, particularly when you climb stairs or walls, but the team at Studio Genkan have already added it to their list of improvements for future versions.
Head off to the Kickstarter page and take a look and if you like what you see, then why not back them?