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Review: Child of Light

Once in a while there’s that unique game you just can’t stop thinking about. Since you’ve played it, you want to tell the world just how great it was and share experiences with others. It’s not that often that a game catches us by surprise but this beautiful Child of Light is without a doubt something else.

Child of Light is part RPG, part platformer and tells us the story of the young girl Aurora. She is trapped in her dream and in order to make it outside she needs to return the sun, moon and stars, stolen by the mysterious Queen of the Night. Aurora gets the help of her friend Igniculus in order to overcome her fears is this fascinating ‘coming-of-age’ story.

The story itself might not sound that unique, the way it is told during the game really is. The game plays like an interactive poem. Everything is written in rhyme and this truly offers a unique experience. This poetry along with the gorgeous environments and the magnificent soundtrack turn this Child of Light into an experience you’ll never be able to forget.

Before we delve deeper into the gameplay we would like to point out the beauty of the game some more. Child of Light is created with the fantastic UbiArt engine that was used in the recent Rayman games as well. Because of this engine the game rather looks like separated pieces of art putted together rather than a game. Everything looks extremely good and the important difference between light and dark really benefits from this engine. The moment you’ll start playing this game, you’ll immediately be sucked into this beautiful fairytale.

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It’s an RPG game.

When you’re playing Child of Light and you get over the fact that the game looks this good you need to ask yourself a very important question. If you take away the beautiful art and sound, what remains of the game? The short answer? A fantastic and even innovating RPG based game. The game has a lot of typical RPG stuff such as a skilltree for every member of your party, looting, power-ups for you weapon and gear and items throughout the levels. There are enough RPG elements to keep fans of the genre satisfied but everything stays light enough so new gamers will also enjoy this system.

One of the biggest plusses of the system is without a doubt the skilltree. When you level, you’ll gain skill points that you’re able to trade for a new ability. Those abilities can power up your attacks, healing powers and defense powers. Every playable character has its own tree to complete, so leveling different characters will always feel fresh and satisfying.

Another major part in RPG games is of course the combat and Child of Light uses one of the best turned based mechanics we’ve ever seen. Just like traditional RPG games you and your opponents attack in turns but now with a little twist.

A piece of art.

 

The battle is divided into the time you need to prepare an attack and the time you cast this attack. Some attacks need longer before they activate so you’ll really need to keep a close eye on that bar on the button of the screen. The fun part about this system is that you’ll see when your enemies are going to attack. If you’re able to attack them before they can strike, they won’t be able to complete their planned attack and fall back on the bar. This is a great system and it asks another approach during battles. If you time your attacks just right and are able to intervene enemy’ attacks, you’ll survive the battle without a scratch.

The first battles in the game are rather easy to complete but the more you advance, the more difficult surviving will be. Lucky for you, you’re being helped by the cute little firefly Igniculus.

Your partner in crime.

Igniculus can be used in battles to slow down enemies. When he hovers over enemies he’ll blind them with his bright light. Slowing down enemies during battles is important to gain more time for a double attack. Aside of slowing down enemies, the little firefly can also gather ‘whishes’ to give you some extra magic or health. Speaking of your health, if Igniculus hovers over you, he’ll heal you. The fun part about this little creature is that a second player can control him. This results in a rather unique multiplayer experience that can be compared to the Murphy gameplay in the Wii U version of Rayman Legends. If you haven’t got a second player you won’t have any trouble controlling the firefly and Aurora both separately

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But it’s a platformer as well.

It’s safe to say that combat is a big part of the game, the other part is a traditional platformer. If you aren’t fighting, you’re probably wandering around in the beautiful world. Child of Light is also a platformer game where you’ll need to solve environmental puzzles and jump from platform to platform.

At first sight the platform segments in the game aren’t that original but thanks to the increasing level of difficulty and the sometimes mind-blowing puzzles, this platform section of the game works just fine. The most fun part of those platform sections is that you’ll be able to get sucked into the environment completely. You’ll find yourself wandering in the gorgeous world a little slower than you would in other games. Everything about this game just feels so right that it would be very disrespectful to not enjoy it at its fullest.

To keep the platforming action fresh, Aurora gains new powers when she’s able to defeat key bosses in the game. One of those powers is the ability to fly, opening up yet another way of playing and solving. It’s in those little things that you notice that this game is created by the hand of a true master. The game stays fresh and never gets boring thanks to those smart changes in the gameplay.

Conclusion:

As you might have guessed we really fell in love with this game. It’s amazing that this is a downloadable game since we wouldn’t doubt for a second to buy this game at a full retail price. Child of Light is such a different and beautiful game, a game you simply can’t resist. The moment you start playing this masterpiece, you’ll be lost to its innocent magic. It combines traditional RPG and platformer elements into something completely different and unique.  Don’t be fooled by its cute looks and give this game a try, we’re sure you won’t regret it.

9/10

Got interested in games since I could read. Started with Nintendo but evolved into an all-round gamer. I love all kind of games; triple A games to Indie. If the vibe is right, I'll enjoy playing it.