by babarlhr on August 7, 2008
So little is written about this game, that I wanted to help fill in a few blanks after seeing it in action.
First of all, I think any review of NitD must make a passing reference to Snow Bros., a fine arcade game created by Toaplan and released by Romstar (the same company that released some of SNK's early pre-Neo Geo games). The second best analogy would be Taito's Bubble Bobble, but Snow Bros is obviously a direct influence. If you know, or have ever played Snow Bros., I can quickly review NitD by saying its Snow Bros. with ghosts, zombies and other assorted monsters, and instead of snow you use magic fire, turning your enemies into rolling fireballs instead of rolling snowballs.
If you've never played Snow Bros. (you're missing out), the concept of that game and NitD is simple: you must clear the level (single frame) by attacking enemies with your regular shot, turning them into a large ball, and then lobbing them at other enemies to eliminate them. Touching enemies before you change them kills you. After a number of levels, you face a boss who must be killed by a combination of direct attacks and rolling smaller enemies into them. That's pretty much the gist of both Snow Bros. and NitD.
A lot better than you may have been led to believe from the pictures: since the game was never dumped, most pictures have been done with still cameras. After finally seeing the game in action I can none of them do the game justice. While the levels aren't huge, the character animations and colors are excellent. The whole game carries a very clear "light-horror" feel to it.
Appropriate: It doesn't sound dated, but it isn't the highlight. Enough to get you by as you think your way through tricky enemies and trickier bosses.
Again, a near copy of Snow Bros. You can jump only up, so you must be careful not to trap yourself. The controls are tight enough to give you no trouble. There are plenty of opportunities for extra points (boosting replay value). The two player version also adds fun.
If you liked Snow Bros or Bubble Bobble you'll like NitD (and probably Zupapa). While it isn't a mind-blowing experience like other more recent Neo titles, its nice to see that the Neo still can these sort of classic-style games right.