Planet-hopping platformer’s infinite levels likely to disappear from the Internet very soon.
Roughly three weeks after its release, there seems to be a general feeling that highly anticipated video game No Man’s Sky isn’t quite all that people were hoping for. Common complaints from detractors have pointed fingers at the title’s repetitive gameplay and a lack of challenge or consequence-based tension.
Still, the core concept, allowing players to start within one environment, then blast off in a space ship and move seamlessly to another of an essentially infinite number of worlds, is extremely compelling. As a matter of fact, a team of four Australian indie developers have already applied it to another genre, combining No Man’s Sky vast scale with the archetypical side-scrolling platformer in a game the group calls No Mario’s Sky.
The surface of each level has a slight curvature to it, since they’re in fact different planets, making No Mario’s Sky a little like a 2-D version of Super Mario Galaxy. Unlike old-school Mario games, the screen can scroll to the left as well as the right, since each level wraps around on itself.
The most important break with tradition, though, is that once you’ve seen all a level has to offer, Mario can hop into a space ship and fly off into deep space on a journey to another world with different Goombas (the traditional bottom-tier Mario enemy) and gravity, plus a new color scheme and arrangement for the background music.
The developers call it “the hackneyed remake-gone-mashup you’ve been craving,” but while that may be true for many gamers, there’s at least one party that’s probably not going to welcome No Mario’s Sky with open arms: Nintendo itself. The Kyoto-based company has repeatedly taken a firm stance against the distribution of fan games that make use of its specific assets or characters in general. This summer alone Nintendo has put a stop to the spread of the unlicensed Pokémon Uranium and a fan-produced Metroid II remake.
Unlike those two longer projects, No Mario’s Sky was created in just 72 hours as part of a game design challenge, so the developers don’t stand to have nearly as much of their effort come to naught if and when Nintendo asks them to stop giving out copies. All the same, if you’re eager to play No Mario’s Sky, you’ll probably want to check it out here sooner rather than later.