The Sun and Moon
Now Available on Steam
Developed by Daniel Linssen
The Sun and Moon begins as what feels like your ordinary indie platformer, a crisp and clean minimalistic aesthetic accompanied by the nostalgic blips of an 8-bit soundtrack set the background for the seemingly straightforward gameplay involving moving and jumping your way to the exit.
This familiar and straightforward platformer feeling quickly and gradually transforms itself into something deeper, more complex and thought provoking as you are given the ability to slingshot yourself through solid walls to reach the previously unreachable orbs needed to exit the stage.
The action and the speed with which you break through each surface leading to your next goal are set to a pace that is addictive and constant, keeping you moving and diving through each obstacle at increasingly speedy times. Even when not rushing at full force for the objectives or trying to collect the little orbs The Sun and Moon is just a blast to relax and experiment with, watching the momentum change as you arc between solid obstacles at different angles.
The name The Sun and Moon itself seems to me like a metaphor for the opposing colors in the back and foreground, and the way your small round character transcends these two different realms as you bounce between jumping in the open air and sliding through the solid material of the ground as you phase into it. The visuals have a very simple and effective yet pleasantly abstract quality to them, the backgrounds in particular starting off looking like continents on some kind of extraterrestrial world map or more-so the dreamlike clusters of clouds amongst a green sky.
The Sun and Moon has a very progressive and rewarding structure to it. It lulls you into a false sense of safety, starting out in the most straightforward of ways with a challenge that is easy and all-too obvious. The music at first bears a strikingly repetitive yet charming 8bit tone and the map seems to be nothing more than a series of boxes connected by a line. This simplicity doesn't last long, however.
As you move on this all changes, the levels become large sprawling towers that you weave in and out of, carefully timing your momentum in order to land on a faraway platform. The music from the always incredible Dubmood grows and evolves as more adventurous compositions are layered into the mix and draw you into the expanding challenge. The map twists and conforms into complex shapes as it progresses, branching off into multiple paths of varying difficulty.
With loads of alternate stages locked behind hidden pathways on a huge almost metroidvania-like map, insane par times to challenge yourself with for each stage, and leaderboards to check your skills against the rest of the world the content here is enormous with 150 stages and plenty of replayability keeping you coming back to each one long after you've completed a basic run.
Rising from its roots as a Ludum Dare 29 gamejam under the fitting theme "Beneath the Surface", The Sun and Moon has come a long way and developer Daniel Linssen has turned what was a fantastic and simple concept with surprisingly deep mechanics into a content-rich package that is much sleeker, shinier, and polished than before. With its unique brand of platforming, progressively intensifying audiovisuals, and addictive map system this is must-buy status for anyone who enjoys the likes of The Floor is Jelly or VVVVVV.