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    Child of Light Review

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    Fairy tales are the magic in our lives. We are told stories like Cinderella and Little Red Riding Hood as we grow, and we discover more through theatrical story-telling from industry giants like Disney.  Fairy tales, like Child of Light, transport us to distant lands, teach us lessons, and allow us to escape where there are ‘happily-ever-afters.’ Well, that is, of course, if you’ve never heard the original stories. Sure, they all wrap up in a neat little bow on screen, but more often than not; these old stories contain a gruesome twist that you may not remember.  The happily-ever-after party may or may not even occur.

    Aurora, light, Child of Light


    Regardless of which version you’ve come across, chances are that nearly everyone has heard these fairy tales in one form or another. It is in the nature of fairy tales to be told again and again, in different ways, by different mediums – but the outcomes they share are almost always the same. It is a rare and beautiful thing to find a new and original story that can hold its own against the veterans. Child of Light does just that.


    Born from an idea rooted in real-life events, Child of Light is a magical tale that is not only engaging, but incredibly fun to play. With wonderful animation-inspired artwork and a fun battle system, this game is definitely worth the time investment.

    Here’s the Plot; Trust me, There’s a lot!Child of Light

    Our story begins in the year 1895 Austria, which is ruled by a Duke. His wife dies unexpectedly, leaving him to raise his daughter, Aurora, alone. He marries again, like most dukes do in fairy-tales, but on the Friday before Easter, Aurora goes to sleep and her skin becomes icy. The kingdom believes her to be dead and the Duke falls ill.


    However, Aurora awakens upon an altar in the fantastical land of Lemuria. She frees the Lady of the Forest, who explains that the land of Lemuria was once ruled by the Queen of Light, but she abruptly vanished. With the light gone, darkness gradually took over, and the Queen of Dark, Umbra. sent her daughters to steal the rest of Lemuria’s light: the sun, the stars and the moon.  Umbra also took it upon herself to steal a mirror that leads into Aurora’s world with plans of destroying the light there as well.


    For helping her, the Lady of the Forest creates a firefly by the name of Igniculus. He acts as her guiding light and companion through the darkness Umbra has spread. Together, Aurora and Igniculus must journey to restore the light and reunite Aurora with her father.


    Heroes Rarely Go Alone; For Others Have Troubles They Bemoan

    The plot is simply wonderful. It truly takes inspiration from the Grimm’s brothers, Hans Christian Anderson, and the more modern stories from Studio Ghibli. It is not a light-hearted tale, though the dialogue would have you believe it. There are many twists and turns in the plot that are unexpected, and the characters are just as engaging. The cast of characters is very diverse, and unlike some role-playing games, the story is simple to follow.


     Like many fairy tales before it, Child of Light tackles some very common themes: the evil step-mother, child abandonment, fear, rejection, and betrayal. Though theses motifs are used often, the game takes a different approach by developing the plot in a unique way.Screen Shot, opening screen


    Aurora’s origin story begins with her mother’s passing and a doting father, not unlike Cinderella. When a step-mother enters the scene, she suddenly falls ill. This is a typical development in most fairy tales and it often leads to one of the greatest fears a child may have: being abandoned or forgotten. With the introduction of a new mother, children are often worrisome that they will be left behind.


    When Aurora falls ill and she is transported to the Alter of Light, she vanishes from her world completely. Her father falls ill as a result, and she has a longing to let him know she lives. However, she is given the task of a chosen one.  This particular motif helps connect Aurora with gamers; though we may feel abandoned or without hope, we all have a chance to forge our own path and destiny. We all have the chance to pick up the reigns.

    Common Themes and Intricate Dreams

    The other themes are present in each of the characters Aurora encounters on her journey. While some cowardly characters must find their bravery, several others face the issue of abandonment – being left behind, losing a parent, a love interest, or even his or her entire clan.  Each character has personal motivation, but they find the light in Aurora.  The intertwining story-lines knit an intricate tapestry connecting us with the adventurers on a personal level.


    They are given purpose, but never compromise who they are regardless if they are a coward, a sad clown, or a loyal solider. This is all done simply and it will truly draw gamers into the story. Pair this with Child of Light’s easy-to-follow game mechanics, and this title truly engrosses gamers wholly in an enriching experience complete with fantastic visuals and a moving soundtrack.


    Tristis, Conversation, Bubble

    Here’s How The Game is Played; Learn it fast, Don’t Delay!

    Child of Light is an exciting side-scroller with a role-play twist. The side scrolling elements have players controlling Aurora as they navigate Lemuria. In an exciting scene, Aurora is granted the ability to fly and players must traverse each area searching for treasure, gemstones, and fighting enemies. The world isn’t without its obstacles. It is very possible for gamers to fall victim to the hazards of each stage. The worlds connect rather seamlessly, but each section is riddled with puzzles that players must crack as they explore. In addition to the physical hazards, players can encounter enemies. When approaching an enemy, there are several different outcomes. Aurora and an enemy can collide and the fight will go on with no advantage for either side, players can be “ambushed” by an enemy, or they can launch a “surprise attack” by catching their foe unaware.Child of Light, Attack


    The battle itself is much like an active-time battle system. Players can control up to two characters during a battle and could freely swap them out. The bottom gauge is affected by character stats and magical boosts. Each character has particular skills – and they are all very useful. As characters prep for an attack, they can interrupt, or be interrupted during battle. If a character is set to attack, but is hit before they perform an action, their commands are lost. This requires a bit more strategy, especially when it comes to fighting bigger groups of enemies.


    Igniculus, Oculi, Overview; That’s a lot of Hullabaloo!Child of Light, Oculi alchemy

    Though the character slots are limited to two, Igniculus is actually useful during battle. Gamers can move Igniculus about, shining his light to delay enemies or heal his allies. His abilities are quite useful outside of battle as he can be used to open special chests, unlock doors, and solve puzzles.  After winning a battle, all characters receive experience points which level up stats and bestow new abilities.


    In addition to leveling stats, characters can be equipped with stat-boosting gemstones called Oculi. Each character can equip up to three stones at one time as an attack modifier, a defense modifier, and stat modifier. Gamers can collect Oculi throughout the game and upgrade the gemstones by combining them. The better quality of the gem, the better the stats.


    While fun and easy to play, the game mechanics aren’t completely revolutionary – but that is okay. It allows enough for a fun gaming experience. Each character provides a useful contribution depending on the type of enemy players face, and the buffs actually prove to be very useful.


    Lemuria, giant, Populi

    The Odds and Ends Come Together; They Definitely Make This Game Better!

    Poster, ArtThough the story and game mechanics are a reminder of days gone by, this is by far one of the more visually stunning games I’ve ever played. Make no mistake, when it comes to games, graphics aren’t normally a huge selling point for me, (I grew up in the pixel era for goodness sake) but I’d be lying if I said the visuals of this game didn't add to the experience. Truly, Child of Light is a storybook come to life.


    Aligned with the breath-taking graphics is the elegantly composed soundtrack. The simple and beautiful piano and accompaniment adds brightness to the world threatened by the dark.  Composed by the amazing Coeur de pirate, aka Beatrice Martin, the soundtrack lends a finishing touch to an entrancing game.

    Not all is Well That Ends; But We Shall Make Amends

    Child of Light is not without its flaws. For one, the rhyming dialogue, while charming at times, seems forced at points and takes away from the message. I understand why the creators decided to do the dialogue in that way, but some of the rhyming doesn’t fit.   Considering the fact that the entire game is rhyme, that is to be expected.


    In addition, the secondary character development comes to a halt for some of the party members when they join. The game is ultimately about Aurora, and the game tries to keep the characters involved by showing conversations within the party; it needed a little more though.


    Also, more could have been done with Oculi. This was a missed opportunity – there were only so many combinations I could do with the gemstones, and once I reached a peak – there was really nothing more I could do with them. I would have liked to see more exploration with this system. Overall, these are minor details and didn't distract from an exciting adventure.

    Final Thoughts

    Child of Light is a visually-stunning RPG with interesting game mechanics and lovely world. Though it has some minor flaws, it is definitely worth picking up.


    Logo, Opening Screen



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