Earth and Sky 2: Another Earth, Another Sky

by Paul O'Brian profile

Episode 2 of Earth and Sky

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
A "bridge" episode that doesn't stand on its own, October 31, 2023

Another Earth, Another Sky, the second installment of the popular Earth and Sky series, is a significant step up from its predecessor in terms of technical sophistication. Object implementation is complete but not very deep, matching a relatively spare descriptive style for locations. What stands out most is the "situational implementation" -- the game's bug-free logic is prepared for a wide variety of actions that the player character (Earth) might take, or might ask the key NPC (Sky) to do.

This attention to scenario detail was atypical at the time, and the game was exceptionally well-received. Not only did it win the 2002 IF Comp, it received 2nd place in the comp's Miss Congeniality rankings and was later nominated for five XYZZY awards (winning only Best Use of Medium). This last is almost certainly due to the use of comic-book style graphical elements (title cards and onomatopoeia-based "sound effects"), an affordance of the Glulx virtual machine that was still little-used at the time.

Unlike the first installment, which sweeps the player along quite quickly, this episode has a slower and more contemplative pace. The bulk of the action occurs in three parts: (Spoiler - click to show)a short investigation at an abandoned cabin, a much longer investigation on an unusual artificial planetoid, and a brief climax and denouement. The second portion will take up the bulk of the playtime, consisting of one long puzzle about gaining access to the endgame. The scenario is designed such that you must explore the entire area to find the pieces that you need, creating a "travelogue" type of experience that encourages you experience the sights, sounds and smells of the various geographical sections. Sprinkled through this are various optional discoveries that let the thorough player unravel the mystery that serves as a plot, but a full explanation will be provided before the cliffhanger ending in any case.

The game does not stand very well on its own, since the plot continues the events of the first game and seems largely designed to supply backstory for the third episode. The climax encounter with a new NPC is disappointingly short, especially when contrasted with the earlier interaction with the PC's superhero sibling. Rather than attempt this as standalone entertainment, it is probably best enjoyed as part of the series.

One minor item of interest is that the startup menu allows the player to optionally specify details of the resolution of key events that occurred during his or her playthrough of the first episode. The answers have a small impact on the introductory text, but I did not notice any other consequence.

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- elysee, June 3, 2023

- TheBoxThinker, January 21, 2023

- Edo, February 11, 2021

- Zape, August 19, 2020

- kierlani, April 17, 2020

- Rovarsson (Belgium), November 29, 2019

- Stian, September 13, 2019

- Jimmy Maher (Oslo, Norway), August 8, 2019

- Stas, March 29, 2018

- Pegbiter (Malmö, Sweden), March 15, 2017

- Aselia, September 6, 2016

- Denk, July 21, 2016

- Matt Bates, June 2, 2016

- Dhary, March 8, 2016

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
Mid-length superhero game; more developed but more repetitive than first game, February 3, 2016

I played Earth and Sky and this game, its sequel, this morning.

This game was enjoyable, and I enjoyed the varied environments and the fun use of powers.

This game features the superhero Earth, who can break things and jump very far. You navigate a small set of areas (I think six), each with an inside and an outside.

At first, and at the end, I really enjoyed playing around with the powers and learning about abilities. But I found the middle game repetitive, especially because you have to travel the map repeatedly and exits aren't undoable in the normal way (i.e. going east and west doesn't return you to where you started).

Overall, a good game, but I preferred the first one.

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- Janice M. Eisen (Portland, Oregon), November 30, 2015

- thebloopatroopa, May 28, 2015

- kala (Finland), April 2, 2015

- Thrax, March 12, 2015

- Sdn (UK), September 6, 2013

- Floating Info, April 11, 2013

- E.K., March 8, 2013

- DJ (Olalla, Washington), February 6, 2013

- Lubulos, September 10, 2012

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