Prepare yourself for 360 degrees of wonderfully designed gameplay in this new platformer where you control the world, rather than the character
Naught Reawakening utilizes and intriguing inversion on traditional gameplay, and it does it incredibly well. As if to focus on this gameplay, and remove detractions, it’s design is a shadowy black and white – similar to the likes of Limbo. The darkly subtle platformer that made it big on consoles. This is again reaffirmed in the slight flimsiness in narrative – you’re in control of Naught, and you’re protecting his world from the shadows. Simple, at least.
The game is also easy to operate, and uses on-screen controls – a left and right button to allow the player to move the world around Naught. There is also a button for jumping, but it’s a pretty weedy jump, and though the technique is to use it in conjunction with the other controls to boost it, a lot of time you may find it’s easier not to bother jumping.
The goal is to collect three grey diamonds on each level to open the next. To do this the player needs to rotate the world to send Naught down various holes and caverns to find the diamonds and reach the end point. There’s a little on-screen eye that follows Naught around that shows you via an arrow where the end point is, which is nice and helpful, and very welcome on later, more sprawling levels.
Players also have to avoid various obstacles that can kill Naught – these include something akin to brambles – orange spiked, black thickets of danger. Landing on these, which is easy to do when you can’t see what’s coming and Naught is free-falling through a cavern, will cause instant death. A less instantaneous demise can come in a sort of Venus Flytrap type situation. Similar in looks to the brambles, the trap ensnares Naught, though he has a chance to escape if you pummel the jump button, though we found escape was extremely rare. Progression introduces even more danger, like tentacles, which can arise from the floor at a moment’s notice.
These tentacles tentatively hint towards the boss at the end of the first stage. The boss level was somewhat unexpected – it’s a surprisingly infrequent feature in these non-traditional platformers, and many games lack the imagination to construct something that can justifiably be a boss and it gives an extra boost to an already great game.
Naught Reawakening is a hugely playable, beautifully designed platformer with a twist. It also takes traditional platform tropes, and gives them a twist. An example is with the checkpoints. Rather than getting to a certain point and then restarting each time, the levels are more fluid and exploratory, and you’ll need a certain number of seeds that you can pick up throughout the levels to maintain your checkpoint. Run out of seeds, and you’re back at the beginning.
The story behind the game is pretty interesting too. Why is it called a Reawakening and not simply Naught? Well – Naught originally came out in 2011, while Naught 2 hit the App Store in 2013. The developer, Blue Shadow Games, then went bust. Now, it appears some of the former members have re-birthed Naught at Wild Sphere, with the help of Genera Mobile. More editions of Naught would certainly be welcome.
There’s plenty for the everyday iOS gamer in Naught, but later levels also provide a decent challenge – especially if you want to get every single diamond. It’s not ground-breaking, but the work has put been put in to make this game fully worthwhile.
Price: $3.99 / £2.99
Size: 54.6 MB
Developer: Genera Mobile