APP OF THE DAY: The Nightjar review (iPhone)
As the number of mobile phone apps increases for the various smartphone platforms, originality becomes harder to attain; this is especially true of iPhone apps as the number available reaches the level of a small country.
However our App Of The Day has originality in spades, as it uses some great audio effects to immerse you in a world which requires you to navigate using your ears alone. It's...
The Nightjar is a space adventure, where you play the last crew member of a spacecraft which is about to spiral into a black hole. As black holes and spacecraft (and pretty much anything for that matter) don't tend to mix, the aim of the game is to get the hell out of dodge.
So the storyline is all pretty straightforward sci-fi, however it's in the gameplay that things start to get interesting. Immersed in total darkness it is by use of sound cues that you have to navigate your way off the doomed ship.
The controls consist of a dial to move left and right and control pads for moving forward; tapping and stroking these controls allows you to navigate by sound alone. Bleeps, clicks and whirrs are all used to excellent effect by utilizing the stereo on your headphones, and by assessing the level and direction of sound you can fumble your way to the exit.
You do have a guide at hand in the form of Sherlock actor, Benedict Cumberbatch, who gives you hints on the task at hand.
This is a genuinely unnerving game, which increases the tension with subtle suggestions of other lifeforms on the ship, whether it's the gruesome chomping of a nearby lifeform dining on a fallen shipmate or the computer announcing that a party of complex lifeforms have just boarded; "one of which is human".
The game is brief however, with 14 levels to work through you'll be done in no time, but while it lasts every step and sound oozes quality; and the fact that it's a free download means that if you have the idevice on hand it's a must for downloading.