The Sun at Night is an innovative 2D action platformer depicting an alternate history of Laika, the Soviet space dog.
For those who might not know the history, in the late 1950’s the Soviets were pressured into a quick follow-up to the success of Sputnik 1. As they scrambled to launch Sputnik 2, they included plans to launch the first organism into orbit as a way to up the ante on the Americans. They took stray dogs off the street and put them through rigorous tests and training. One of these strays was the dog we know as Laika. She was selected to be the first dog in space and was launched aboard Sputnik 2 on November 3, 1957. Unfortunately, in their haste, the Soviets did not incorporate any method to return Laika to Earth. At the time, it was said she was humanely euthanized after several days in orbit. It was revealed decades later that she most likely died of heat exhaustion shortly after leaving the Earth’s atmosphere.
We all have a sense of how dependent and trusting dogs are and it’s this aspect of their nature that makes the story of Laika so tragic. The more we read about the details of this story, the more we became obsessed with making it right. What if Laika didn’t die? What if she came back to Earth? How would she treat the people that seemingly betrayed her?
These questions developed into the alternate universe of the game. The tide of Soviet power rolling across the face of the Earth was strong, but not inexorable – until novel, strange energy sources were discovered. The impunity granted by these new engines of destruction lit a fire under the Russian war machine. So when Stalin rolled into Paris, the resulting flare-up of global conflict left little more than smoking ash heaps where America and Great Britain had been, and left the less developed countries of the world in the shadow of a newly unipolar, unabashedly imperial USSR. Now, Stalin is dead. Though resistance movements have emerged, the Soviets still stand supreme as rulers of the globe. Only a force from beyond the earth could possibly tip the balance. Abram Krupin, who leads one of many resistance cells alonside his wife, Amulya Diggavi, knows this. When he sees a dog fall from the stars, he takes it as an omen. This dog speaks, wears silver armor, and has an arsenal of mysterious weapons. Abram calls her Laika.
Laika believes that, despite all odds, she can protect the countless lives crushed by the Soviets.
The Sun at Night is a 2D action platformer in the same vein as Cave Story and Iji with some Metroid influences as well. What makes Laika unique?
- Massive, nonlinear levels that model the layouts of real locations in a way not yet seen in other platformers
- Large, choice-rich skill trees that let players approach the game the way they want to
- A novel defensive mechanic that lets players turn the firepower of Laika’s enemies against them
- Smoothly flowing, fast-paced shooting action
- A story of struggle and hope, full of twists and revelations
- Rich, evocative art depicting a world dominated by a technologically ascendant Soviet empire
- Secrets and rewards hidden in every corner for the determined player
Publisher: Minicore Studios
Developer: Minicore Studios
Genre: Action, Adventure, Platformer