First impressions can usually be a great indicator of how you get on with either a person, a concept, a game, a movie or an album. Meet Me At NooN is an example of where my first impression was wrong – I dismissed it quickly out of the gate. Thankfully, I persevered to discover a brain melting time loop puzzle game that had me mapping things out in timelines on paper and on screen.
Meet Me At NooN places you in control of a day spirit and night spirit and your goal is get them to land on their sun and moon positions at the same time to create noon. Each level has a set number of moves and you’ll move each character in turn, day then night, moving through phases. When you switch characters, a time loop kicks off. All the moves you made with the day spirit are reversed and so the day spirit starts returning to its starting position. Meanwhile, with every move you make with the night spirit, that’s moving forward. It took me a while to click with this concept and that’s why I had such a rough first impression with the game. It could have been me speeding through though, losing the nuance as things went along.
Early levels see you meeting in the middle of move sets but quickly you’ll be wanting to stand on top of each other to jump and reach higher places or become a block to walk over. To reverse engineer these moves takes a lot of brain power so thankfully, there are no time limits in the game. Then day/night cycles kick in where the night spirit resets to its start position at the end of its cycle. This is helpful for it to push, block, jump on or support the day cycle as its reverses or replays whatever moves you’ve given to it. Later on, you’ll be asked to pre-plan all moves ahead of time meaning you have to imagine cause and effect in your head and not fiddle about with moves to get things right.
Meet Me At NooN looks unassuming, although I love the artstyle (hourglass meets Journey anyone?) and the relaxed soundtrack. Puzzles are fiendishly put together – especially if you want to capture all the additional stars which unlock later chapters. I found myself counting spaces on screen and replaying loops over to work out where I had done something wrong. To that end, if you struggle to visualise future moves or have issues with knowing your left and right, this game might not be very relaxing for you! Part of the frustration is thinking you’ve mapped out the day spirit properly only to realise you are a single move out of sync or it moves the other way when going backwards. It’s like patting your head and rubbing your tummy – only as a time loop.
Whilst the later puzzles did get the better of me, there was a sense of achievement when I did clear some of the later puzzles. Occasionally I felt like I stumbled onto solutions but I’ll give myself the credit that I was fishing in the right area. More importantly, I was far more engrossed in the game as it got more complex than I was at the outset. It grew on me over time and even if I was defeated by the late game, I understand the vision and the devil of the puzzle set up. That allows me to recommend it to puzzle gamers that want to really ponder over solutions, map out loops on paper and work towards the goal over time. Much better than the first impression it gave me.
Review copy provided by developer.
Meet Me At NooN
Brain melting time loops that make you pat your head and rub your tummy!
Engrossing time loop mechanic that is explored in depth across the game.
Relaxing visuals and soundtrack help soothe your overworked brain.
All your moves are shown at the bottom of the screen so you can spot any fat finger errors and undo them easily.
Pat your head / rub your tummy time loops are challenging!
Sometimes the undo feature breaks a level so you need to restart it.
Pat your head / rub your tummy time loops might be too challenging for some!
Higher Plain Games is part of the Higher Plain Network. If you like what I do, please consider supporting me via Patreon for as little as $1/£1 a month. There are additional perks for supporting me, such as behind-the-scenes content and downloads. You can also share the website or use the affiliate buy now links on reviews. Buying credit from CD Keys using my affiliate link means I get a couple of pence per sale. All your support will enable me to produce better content, more often. Thank you.