Title: Candleman: The Complete Journey
Available On: PC
Developer: Spotlightor Interactive
Publisher: Spotlightor Interactive, Zodiac Interactive
Genre: Indie adventure game
Official Site: Candleman
Release Date: February 1, 2018
Where To Buy It: Steam
A cute little indie game that sparkles through the darkness, Candleman: The Complete Journey may not be the most complicated storyline, in fact, players do not really do much, but it is aesthetically pleasing. Players control a small candle that walks through a maze in each level, lighting up its way as it goes while also lighting a set number of candles in each chapter. It is great to play when you fancy a break from your responsibilities.
The players goal is to complete each chapter of the candles life. It is set in levels and it is a simple journey where the only controls are to light, jump, and run. That is it. It can get repetitive after a bit and sometimes I wish there was something I can do instead. However, the controls mean that it is easy to pick up and jump straight into and is fun for anyone. I think this game would be perfect for a younger audience and on the switch as it would keep kids entertained for hours.
Even though this game only has simple controls, the challenges ahead are worth it. The challenges get harder and harder each round and are more beautiful than the last. Each chapter is visually gorgeous and, at times, I sit back and look at the screen and just think ‘WOW‘. The candle that you play can easily fall to their death and you only have a certain amount of lives during the game. Not only this, most challenges get darker and darker, so it is harder to see where you are going. You can light up the way, but you only have a certain amount of light to use. It becomes a challenge in itself to know when to use the light or not. You would only get ten seconds to light the candle in Candleman: The Complete Journey, which becomes increasingly difficult when the levels are longer.
In each section, there are a set number of other candles to light which is a personal goal to try and get all of them. However, some of them are more hidden than others and are challenging to get to. At times, I left them because I could not be bothered to look for them as if I did, I would probably have to start the chapter again. This is because of the checkpoints. Most of the checkpoints are near the beginning so if you die near the end, you get catapulted back to the start. It was frustrating, especially since the jump action was not as smooth as it can be. I was close to rage quitting because of this which is unusual in an indie game. Afterwards, I would redo the level so that I could get the candles without worrying about failing the level. It becomes quite disappointing that you do not receive a reward for collecting any of the candles that you tried so hard to get. If anything, it makes it a waste of time.
Candleman: The Complete Journey has so much originality to it, I can forgive the few bumps that are needed to make this a really well-executed game. The puzzles make the game and really make you think how to conquer the next challenge. You never know what could be around the corner and it is exciting. The game finds new ways to challenge you and you need to take a different approach every time to complete the level. Players need to use the environment to the candles advantage and time is everything. First time around, I would not rush the game as it can set you back far. I became quite attached to my little candle from the cutscenes and the journey we shared together. It was intriguing to see what was happening to the little candle and how its journey was changing throughout the game. I ended up wanting to know why it had come to life and love the fact that this little candle was exploring the world.
Overall, the game needs a few improvements to it but is a great puzzle game that will challenge players on whether to use ten seconds of the light you have on your candle throughout the challenge or savour the precious light. That is only half the challenge. The other half is to make your way safely to the other end without dying. Either way, the challenge is fun and original. A really great little indie game.
Verdict: A beautiful looking game that has interesting puzzles to complete as you follow the journey of this candle. Needs a couple of improvements, but overall a great little indie game.
- Colorful and beautiful
- Cute, fun puzzles
- Checkpoint distance
- Too simplistic