Nimbus is Gravity Done to Perfection

Nimbus is a 2.5 platforming/puzzle/racing game. The graphics are very crisp and clean, and have a high degree of polish. All the objects and pick-ups are easy to spot, easy to recognize, and serve the game perfectly. You control an airship of sorts, that has no way to self-propel itself, so you glide around using gravity and the various objects in the game world to propel yourself to the finish line of each level. Within the levels are all sorts of objects that can change your trajectory or give you a much needed push. Cannons, arrows that pull you along a path, boost blocks, bump pads, gravity direction changers, and a few others. There are also all manner of platforming objects such as spikes, moving platforms, physics puzzles, keys, switches etc.

Nimbus appeals to me in a lot of areas. There is a game map that is similar to Super Mario World, including alternate routes that can be discovered by finding the alternate finish to some levels. The puzzles are very real and sometimes extremely difficult. You can find up to 68 gold coins scattered around in the levels in mostly hidden or difficult-to-get-to areas. You can unlock new ship models, and new smoke trails for your ship to leave in it’s wake.

The gameplay itself varies from slow, precision movement of the ship, to balls out, boosting all over, extremely fast racing style levels, to difficult puzzles with keys and switches to hit. Each level has a lasting impression to leave, and the style of play never gets boring. I believe the level design is what really sets this game off, and it’s clear that a lot of time, play testing, and care went into making most of the levels. The developers have already released a free Christmas theme level pack, and the amount of levels in the game is truly astounding for the price of the game. They also included a “scrapyard” that unlocks when you complete the game, which is a collection of maps they didn’t feel “made the cut” with the release of the game. Some of these scrapyard levels are frustrating, poorly designed, *extremely* difficult, or just not really very good. They are, however, interesting… and some of them are also my favourite levels in the game. They are a welcome bonus.

The controls in the game didn’t take getting used to for me like most reviews claim. I found them to be natural, simple, and generally very good. I did actually find them to be a little twitchy at times, but this is a necessary evil. Fast and precise movement really is needed in this game, as you need to make split second moves and decisions to avoid obstacles or race around the levels. The twitchy-ness in the controls never really bit me in the ass until the last three levels in the scrapyard (after I had completed the game). These last three levels are meant to be mind-numbingly difficult, so this doesn’t really take away from the game much at all in my opinion.

“…you need to make split second moves and decisions to avoid obstacles or race around the levels.”

Nimbus is a great ride. From the very first tutorial levels I was smiling, and I stuffed the whole game into a couple days because like a good book, I could not put it down. Nimbus is a very well thought out game, and the best deal in gaming I have seen in a long time. This game will stand out as one of the great puzzle games in my mind for a very long time, and I can see myself revisiting it regularly for way longer than $10 should allow me to.

Developer: Noumenon Games
Publisher: Noumenon Games
Released: October 25th, 2010
Platform: Windows
MSRP: $9.99 USD

If they fit any more content in here, they could cut half of it out and charge for it via DLC.

Rock It.

– Fast, addictive, refreshingly new, puzzle play
– Great graphics
– Good music, and excellent sound effects
– Global leader boards, all accessible in game
– Difficult puzzles will make you think & work for your good course times and bonus coins
– Great final boss battle

– Slightly confusing button remapping
– Twitchy controls (while necessary can provide some frustration)

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Raskulous is an avid gamer, retro gamer, and computer enthusiast. He also spends portions of his free time doing electronics service and repair, and console modifications.

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