The Switch released with one of the most well-crafted games ever created but it also released with something with a lot less game. Vroom in the night sky is a game by the Japanese indie development team Poisoft and it’s, to put it bluntly, not good at all. The game is at least technically sound and could be said to have quite a bit of content but it’s just so bland that it’s in no way entertaining. I hate to be completely negative about a game but unfortunately, there isn’t much else I can say about Vroom in the night sky so let’s drag ourselves through this, much like the game is a drag.
Engine troubles in the night sky
In Vroom in the night sky you play as a magical girl, which is apparently a very important piece of information, as she travels through the night sky on a flying motorcycle and collects stars. It’s not the most riveting plot but I feel like it is at least serviceable in some sense, you could do a lot with this if you wanted. The game is broken up into multiple stages where your objective is to collect a specific number of stars before you can cross through the finishing gate. There’s even a rival who will pop up and try to get to the stars before you and generally just ruin your day. It may sound like Vroom in the night sky has everything it needs to be a remotely competent game but alas, it doesn’t do anything to be at all entertaining.
[pullquote_left]The rival character, which one expects to cause at least some sort of conflict, can be mostly ignored[/pullquote_left]There’s absolutely no challenge to Vroom in the night sky and playing through the game’s various stages, even mastering some of the finer mechanics, yields absolutely no meaningful reward or even a sense of achievement. There is nothing set in place to compel the player to play quickly or even efficiently. The stages have no time limit and while there is a fuel system in place, fuel drains so slowly and can so easily be replenished that the whole system feels frivolous. Even the rival character, which one expects to cause at least some sort of conflict, can be mostly ignored and even if they manage to get a star before you, they re-spawn quickly enough for it to not be an issue. The game functions as one expects but there is nothing to really make it feel like a game when you play it and this is why the game, which appears competent, manages to still fall flat.
Not so Magical Girl
[pullquote_right]If this game at least had more interestingly designed stages it might have been a bit of a better time.[/pullquote_right]And then there’s the rest of the game. Vroom in the night sky experiences the unfortunate fate of looking incredibly bland, sounding rather annoying and, to top it all off, not making much sense. The environments in the different stages of Vroom in the night sky do enough to distinguish themselves from each other but at the same time, each stage is still incredibly unimaginative. If this game at least had more interestingly designed stages it might have been a bit of a better time. There are just some incredibly basic assets littered around a play area that you’re just meant to fly around in. which turns the game into more of a chore than it needs to be.
The in-game sounds don’t do the game any favours either as after the first stage you’ll probably be sick of the revving sound of the motorcycles and the other bland sound effects that are present. Vroom in the night sky’s sound effects are more likely to give you a headache than ultimately do anything useful, which presented me with the first time I had ever wished a console had had a music streaming service to give me something else to listen to. To top everything off, however, the game seems to have been lost in translation and this can cause quite a few issues for players. Vroom in the night sky seems to have not received the most elegant of localisations and while it’s passable, albeit a little frustrating, it does cause a couple of issues. I managed to skip the tutorial and could not understand why I was unable to actually start the game for a while until I saw that the b and a buttons had essentially been switched by default and while you can change it in the menu, this still caused much frustration before I had even started the game.
Riding off into a brick wall
Vroom in the night sky has some incredibly painful issues that sour the overall experience, but what makes this upsetting is that there is a totally competent game here that just needed a little more added to it. There are so many other games that have a couple of major technical issues that get in the way of the experience that it makes no sense that this game can work but just be bad. I feel like with just a little more effort and a little more time in development Vroom in the night sky could have been an incredibly enjoyable game. Alas we are left with something that is bland, boring and ultimately frustrating and all I hope is that Poisoft takes note of the criticisms that Vroom in the night sky will receive and make something more enjoyable, which they seem to be totally capable of doing.