The study Red Candle Games has only two titles in its catalog (Detention and Devotion), but already has a nice personality with its games of ambient terror in episodes of Taiwanese history. The controversy with Devotion (accidental, according to the study) ended with the withdrawal of the game from the major platforms; today can only be purchased from the study website. Unsurprisingly, the study has managed to resist economically over the years and is now seeking funding for a new title: Nine Sols. We were able to test in preview the demo which will be available in a few days to the whole world and we tested what seems to have felt the change of air in the study.
Nine Sols is a uniquely styled 2D action platformer that its creators define as “taopunk”, a mixture of Taoist philosophy, Asian mythology and science fiction elements. Our protagonist is Yi, a mysterious alchemist who is rescued from a mortal hero and is buried in a community that prepares an annual festival for its deities. We soon discover that the statues that appear have a mystical side: they are part of the entrances to a huge mechanical complex hidden under the surface, protected by hordes of enemies who use a weapon that combines tradition and modernity.
The game doesn’t assume that his main influence is Sekiro; in fact, it’s one of the key words that appear when describing the game. This is how we go through the tutorial and start the combat phase, where we learn how to use the katana quickly to deflect enemy attacks . If you press the button too soon, you will avoid a noqueo but not the damage, even if you can recover a little life barrier and quickly attack the Bloodborne. Naturally, the game of so much importance to parry, because the implementation is fantastic. Not only mechanically, but in gaming feeling; he Hourly is strict but fair and the resulting animation is spectacular. Good parry take any action game and Nine Sols confidently explains this map in its demo for convenience.
Deviant attacks are just one of the main mechanics of the game. If we pulse LB in time (we have a spark to warn us of Hourly from the enemy attack) we can stop the attack without any damage, but in addition the window will be opened to keep the RB impulse to attack enemies with a kind of dash already marked; if we support RB for a moment, they will all receive the shock of an explosion. This attack is the most damaging kind with a big difference and allows you to instantly defeat groups of enemies. Sure, it’s very simple to race one-on-one at first, but as the enemies increase in number and variety, things start to get more complicated. The management of the groups has started recording another of the titles mentioned as a reference: Katana Zero.
The third game that the study cites as a reference is Hollow Knight, but if there is something missing in the demo it is precisely exploration and the promised component metroidvania, let’s understand this precisely by dealing with the initial fragment of the game. The fragment that can be played is short and quite linear, with only a few demons to obtain rewards that we cannot manage yet. It looks like Red Candle dominated the action part of Nine Sols, so going into the final game is the part where they have more to show off.
The test lasts only half an hour, but there is a surprise reserved for the final: a setback against a boss who we will obviously meet at a more advanced point of the tram, but without access to the best than us. we will have for now. It’s a real party parry which can test our reflexes and ability to deal with rival attacks. A caramel to end the wait is already a demonstration of the finesse of your combat system even in an early phase.
Nine Sols is crowdfunding from the studio’s website.