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Earth And Sky 3: Luminous Horizon

by Paul O'Brian profile

Episode 3 of Earth and Sky
Superhero
2004

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Reviews and Ratings

5 star:
(6)
4 star:
(13)
3 star:
(11)
2 star:
(3)
1 star:
(1)
Average Rating:
Number of Ratings: 33
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- Stian, September 14, 2019

- E.K., June 20, 2019

- Pegbiter (Malmö, Sweden), April 10, 2017

- Denk, July 22, 2016

- Matt Bates, June 12, 2016

- Dhary, March 9, 2016

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Fun superhero story with two PC's where I had trouble guessing the solutions, February 3, 2016
This is part 3 of Earth and Sky. I played the second one only a few weeks ago, but I already forgot an important power of the characters, and it made the first puzzle very hard for me. However, talking to to each other enough gives you all solutions.

You play two characters, one with sky powers (flying, zapping, fogging), and one with earth powers (punching, lifting, jumping). You are trying to rescue your parents.

The game is pretty short, with a linear sequence of puzzles that you have to solve one-by-one. The writing was good, the graphics were fun (mostly "BLAM!"-type comic words). I was disappointed that I had forgotten so much of the plot from the last playthrough.

This game is very good, but not the best. I think that a few of the other games from 2004 IFComp were better, but that the whole set of 3 Earth and Sky games make a very good package, like a Chopped chef that wins because of three solid courses, while the other chefs had one incredible course and a few poor courses.

- Janice M. Eisen (Portland, Oregon), November 30, 2015

- thebloopatroopa, June 3, 2015

- kala (Finland), April 3, 2015

- Thrax, March 22, 2015

- Joshua Houk, October 18, 2014

- Floating Info, March 9, 2014

- Steven Watson (UK), September 22, 2013

- DJ (Olalla, Washington), February 6, 2013

- Lubulos, September 10, 2012

- Sam Kabo Ashwell (Seattle), April 16, 2012

- Nemansphere, July 3, 2011

- Rotonoto (Albuquerque, New Mexico), May 16, 2011

- Felix Pleșoianu (Bucharest, Romania), March 18, 2011

- Patrick M. McCormick (United States), May 4, 2010

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful:
Almost, but not quite, a satisfying conclusion, April 26, 2010
by Mr. Patient (Saint Paul, Minn.)
There's kind of an illicit thrill in playing a real superhero in IF. For decades now, the overwhelming majority of IF characters have been decidedly un-super in their abilities. Really, they're incompetent, unable to perform even the simplest and most intuitive tasks unless they have exactly the right tool for the job (>BREAK THE SMALL GLASS BOX WITH THE HAMMER | "A valiant attempt."). This is what makes playing the Earth and Sky series (especially in the role of Austin) so refreshing. When you encounter a pair of massive steel doors in Earth and Sky, you don't need to faff around for hours finding the rusty key or inserting the crystalline cylinder or answering a riddle. You simply SMASH THE DOORS. It's a nice bit of therapy for emotionally-scarred IF players.

I really enjoyed the first two games in the series, which combined humor, comic-book action, and a relentless focus on ease-of-play to great effect. Luminous Horizon continues in the same vein, but it's not quite up to the level of the others. The second (and strongest) game centered on an extended puzzle which combined multiple objects and rooms in a pretty satisfying way. Most of the puzzles in the third installment are just variations on SMASH THE DOORS. It's fun and cathartic, but not as rewarding as something a little more elaborate would have been.

One nice feature of Luminous Horizon is the ability to switch back and forth between control of the two siblings, which you'll naturally need to do several times to complete the game. Each sibling sees and describes the world in a different way, which adds a real richness to the experience of playing them.

The author does a good job of eliminating frustration. Like with the other two installments, it's impossible or at least extremely difficult to make the game unwinnable, which is always appreciated. The game also implements a nice (and customizable) conversation system, where you can choose from a menu of replies, ranging from the sincere to the snarky. Unfortunately, your choices don't matter very much -- the game proceeds pretty much the same way no matter how you choose to play the characters.

The conversation system also provides built-in hints. In principle, if you get stuck, you can TALK TO your sibling and get nudged in the right direction. After repeated nudges, the sibling may just solve the puzzle for you. However, for the most challenging puzzle in the game, the hint system is nothing of the kind. It's actually a misdirection system, focusing your attention on something which is almost entirely unhelpful at the moment the advice is being dispensed. Be warned.

At times, it feels like more was planned for the game than was actually implemented. There are areas with interesting objects that can be manipulated, but which don't ultimately matter. There are story threads which seem like they'll be featured prominently (like (Spoiler - click to show)rescuing Dr.
Andrews
), but which get resolved off-screen. I'd be interested to see what could have been done with this game in a longer format.

If you've played and enjoyed the first two Earth and Sky games, then you certainly ought to give Luminous Horizon a whirl; it's a decent conclusion to the series, and you'll want to know how it ends. But it's not quite as satisfying as it could have been.

- Shchekotiki, August 3, 2009

- Stephen Gilbert (Canada), July 10, 2009

- Newbot, March 7, 2009


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