When eastasiasoft had their spring showcase, there was one game that caught my attention by being far different to everything else on offer. Instead of the bright colourful visuals and big busty ladies, this game offered quite sedate and appealing (in a completely different way) low-poly characters in some dark and horrific environments. This game looked like something special, and it seemed to be flying under everyone’s radar.

And now, thanks to the publisher, I’ve managed to get my hands on the game to see what it’s all about.

Many thanks to the publisher for the review code.

The Prisoner of the Night tells the story of Nartide, a young girl who ends up getting trapped in an endlessly dark world by the cold wind of the night, personified in the form of Cruviana. Nartide needs to work her way through this endless night in an attempt to make her way back home.


The straightforward story is sold mainly by the nightmarish presentation of the game. Using a low poly style that harkens back to the PS1 era, both the characters and the environments just look creepily … wrong. But in a good way. Characters are oddly proportioned with skin that just seems too smooth, environments and models are detailed to an extent, but mixed with simple textures that make them just feel off. This description may sound like a critique, but it fits the horrifying vibe that the game is clearly going for.

Where the presentation flounders, however, is with the technical side of things. Unresponsive and slow menus make doing anything seem like a slog, and really gives off the feeling of being non-functional. Dialogue and text is often badly written and full of errors, and can even cause you to create your own problems. At one point, the game advised me to open the level select menu and then I couldn’t find a way to resume – thus leaving me to restart the whole stage again. Whilst the stage wasn’t a long one, I was still resentful at how badly that tutorial box was implemented.

The real problem though is with the controls, which are also unresponsive and clunky at times. The floaty jump can be hard to manage, and that can make some of the brutal platforming a little bit of a hassle to overcome. Sometimes a jump wouldn’t work properly and lead to an inevitable death. I do like a challenge in a platformer, but when death comes at the fault of the game’s controls, it never feels good.


But that’s not to say the game is bad, not by any means. There’s a lot of charm here, and there’s some real creativity behind it all. Box cutters will extend as you work your way around them, dragons chase you down over falling platforms, and so on. Furthermore, the addition of a costume mechanic that grants you certain special abilities also helps to mix things up over your lengthy 159 level journey. It’s just that the general controls along with the game’s technical issues can make all that pretty hard to enjoy.

The Prisoner of the Night is packed to the brim with creativity, and a visual design that makes this nightmarish prison seem all the more eerie. Unfortunately the potential the game has is hampered by technical problems and floaty, unresponsive controls. Hopefully a patch is able to tighten up the experience, as it’s quite hard to recommend until then.