EarthNight has been a long time coming, and you can tell just by playing that it's been polished to within an inch of its life. It's a pretty simple game at its heart; you auto-run across the backs of invading dragons, hoovering up loot and stomping on baddies, until you inevitably die and start over again. However, it's been refined to a point where this straightforward concept is surprisingly addictive.
With each run, you'll earn water, which is used as a sort of currency, and any dragons you kill could unlock some powerful new items which will appear in subsequent attempts. With better pick-ups scattered through each stage, you're likely to inch a little further towards Earth each time. This feedback loop gives the game a good rhythm, and it's hard to have just one go.
However, there are some odd wrinkles to EarthNight. Of the two playable characters, Sydney feels far better than Stanley with her double jump and dash abilities. They both control well, but it's the random nature of each stage that can quickly trip things up. The difficulty fluctuates wildly, and if you mistime a jump, the permanent forward momentum means you can't really adjust. Landing on enemies consecutively will give you some health back, but again, doing so isn't always easy because of the multitude of random factors.
There's certainly a knack to playing this game, and auto-runners aren't the norm on PlayStation 4, so it's something to get used to. There's plenty to like about EarthNight; it's absolutely gorgeous, the slow progression will keep you playing, and the simple controls are tight. As we said, it's a simple idea executed very well. If you can put up with some inconsistencies, this is an imaginative and vibrant game that's worth a stab.