Nine Sols, we tried the 2D action platformer inspired by Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Nine Sols, we tried the 2D action platformer inspired by Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Nine Sols, we tried the 2D action platformer inspired by Sekiro

After the two excellent horror films Detention and Devotion, the Taiwanese team Red Candle Games has decided to devote themselves to a different project, a two-dimensional action platform with a taopunk setting and a combat system inspired by that of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, in particular as far as concerns the ability of the protagonist, a sort of anthropomorphic cat, to deflect the blows of the enemies.

The idea and the trailer with which it was presented immediately received an excellent response, so much so that the crowdfunding campaign of the game has largely exceeded the minimum goal and is preparing to unlock any stretch goals between now and the next thirty days and little more than collection. The demo available on Steam will also contribute, thanks to which we tried Nine Sols: here's how it went.

History and setting

Nine Sols, a scene from the introductory sequence How said, the setting of Nine Sols is taopunk, that is a mix of cyberpunk elements and Taoism that takes shape in the scenario of New Kunlun, a kingdom inhabited by people devoted to mysterious, ancient divinities who occasionally demand a tribute. The chosen ones are under the illusion of crossing the borders of this world to access a sort of Eden, but unfortunately the reality is very different.

To reveal it is Yi, a powerful warrior with the features of a cat, much defeated previously by one of the nine kings who dominate the world but saved and regenerated from the very womb of the earth until the meeting with Xuan Xuan, a boy who lives in the Flower Village and who becomes his only friend. But one day the young man is chosen for the tribute, as happened to his parents before him and Yi decides to act to prevent him from being killed.


Nine Sols, the scenario of the demo with the guards waiting for us A bit samurai, a bit Stitch, the protagonist of Nine Sols is somehow linked to the alien race that he controls New Kunlun and was waiting for the right moment to get back into action, but he couldn't watch Xuan Xuan's sacrifice unmoved and so he anticipates his plans. Destroyed the device that the villagers considered divine, he accesses an underground structure protected by guards and fearsome bosses.

It is in this phase that you are confronted with the combat system of the game, which takes up the mechanics of deflection of the shots that we have described in the review of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, but also typical solutions of soulslike such as the device where it is possible to stop and rest, thus recovering the vital energy but at the same time restoring all the enemies in the vicinity. br>
Then, obviously, there is the difficulty, which already in the demo clarifies how the Nine Sols experience is characterized by a non-trivial degree of challenge. Yi is immediately equipped with three flasks that allow him to restore part of his health, but the attacks of the enemies do a lot of harm and you have to become familiar with the timing required for parries, which differs according to the opponent and the his patterns.

In the demo we counted four types of guards, which change according to the weapon equipped but not only: sword, crossbow, spear and an armored unit, much more tough than the others. To defeat them we will have to use our katana, sprint as a dodge (but the maneuver takes a few moments to reload) and master, as mentioned, the parry.

Nine Sols, the final boss of the demo Performed with perfect timing, this move fills our spiritual energy gauge and allows for a spectacular double strike, a charge possibly followed by an explosive spiritual bullet. Impossible to proceed without it, as the boss we will meet at the end of the trial version of Nine Sols makes clear.

It is a pity that the brevity of the experience (the demo completes in about 40 minutes, cutscenes included) does not allows you to delve into different aspects of the game, including the enhancement system with its skill tree focused on health, stamina and attack capacity. An interesting extra, however, is represented by a second boss that we can challenge at any time from the main menu, but which is really difficult.

Preliminary impressions

Nine Sols, a glimpse of the Village of Flowers Net of some animations to be reviewed (in particular when Yi climbs on the ropes), the demo of Nine Sols returns some great sensations, also and above all in terms of the artistic depth of the experience. The guys at Red Candle Games have definitely learned how to narrate effectively, introducing characters that become interesting within a handful of dialogues.

The setting we have seen for the moment is limited to a glimpse of the village and to the underground structure, nothing phenomenal but they are functional elements to the gameplay, with platforms and surfaces rendered in an all too traditional way for the platform genre but intense and demanding fights, which always and in any case require great attention and reactivity.

Nine Sols, the protagonist accesses the underground structure It seems that the plant will not embrace a metroidvania structure, or at least the skill tree does not seem to suggest this hypothesis, but the game could easily stand on the elements that we have been able to try, however briefly , and on a concept of challenge that in recent months seems to have been successfully cleared by Elden Ring also at The general public, hopefully sparking interest in this genre of productions.

In addition to the exquisitely hand-drawn and animated graphics, an applause goes absolutely to the soundtrack, which uses Japanese-style songs and choirs which help to create really interesting fantasy atmospheres, as well as to charge our motivations when it is time to take up the sword and make our way through the many pitfalls of this taopunk setting.

Nine Sols is a very interesting title, a two-dimensional soulslike characterized by an artistic sector of great value, beautiful atmospheres and a captivating combat system, based on a deflection mechanism that requires perfect timing but pays off with the possibility of unleashing a spectacular energy attack. The degree of difficulty is exactly what we expected from such a product, it's just a pity that we will have to wait until next year for the release of the full version.


Artistically very interesting System thick combat Challenging but satisfying DOUBTS Some animations to be reviewed Structure to be checked in the full version Still a long way to go Did you notice any errors?

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