Candleman (PC) – Review

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Posted February 5, 2018 by Chris Berto in Video Games

Developer: Spotlightor

Publisher: Zodiac Interactive

Release Date: January 31st 2018 (PC)

Platforms: Xbox One, PC

 

LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE BRIGHT

Where oh where do I start with Candleman? Do I expand upon its deceitfully deep and meaningful story? Should I gush over the absolutely brilliant use of ambient noise and overall sound design? Or yet still, do I tell you about how not since Trine and it’s sequels has a game’s color pallet popped so beautifully that many times throughout my playthrough I had to stop and just take in the sights? This game is about so much more than a sentient candle on his journey to a lighthouse; this is a a game about being more than the cards you’ve been dealt. And developer Spotlightor Interactive deserve a very special Thank You for their efforts.

Colors this beautiful should be illegal

Originally released on January 31, 2017 for the Xbox One, Candleman makes its way to PC and includes all the original DLC in a repacked game named Candleman: The Complete Journey. The PC version also supports resolutions up to 3,840 x 2,160 and uncapped frame rate. Despite being a slow-paced puzzle game, these additions make Candleman on PC a true wonder for the eyes to behold.

The Premise of the game is simple; use your light to illuminate your path through increasingly difficult environments–but there’s a catch! As a living, walking candle you only have 10 seconds worth of wax to burn in each world, making every flicker of light a calculated move. The trade off to losing wax is gaining the ability to jump higher and further, but be careful, once your wax is gone, it’s gone.

Environmental dangers galore!

Throughout each level are strategically placed candles that can be lit to help illuminate your path to save your own wax and act as sort of a checkpoint to return to upon death. While I would never call the platforminig difficult, there were times I was thankful for these checkpoints. As the player progresses, the “enemies” begin reacting to the light, such as barbed-plants that bloom violently when exposed to the flame, or platforms that disappear altogether. Every step I took was slow and methodical through the game’s three vastly different worlds, each broken up into smaller bite-sized chapters that I never wanted to end.

THROUGH THE FIRE AND THE FLAME

As impressive as the moment-to-moment gameplay may be, it is the sound design that truly left me in awe. With no soaring soundtrack to distract me, the only sounds present are the ambient ones in the background, such as the trickling water of a stream or the roaring of a fire spewing from the cracks in a pipe. The character of Candleman sits atop an iron candelabrum with anthropomorphic legs; every step taken across the various environments echos so distinctly I often found myself walking from texture to texture just to hear difference between my footsteps on wood, grass, steel, iron, and more. The only other sound present is that of the narrator who fills in the story between chapters.

The immersive sound design on display in Candleman is an absolute treat to the ears and will delight audiophiles and passive listeners alike.

FROM A FLICKER TO AN EXPLOSION

Candleman tells a story that inspires one to be more. Starting with the brilliance of a lighthouse in the distance, Candleman begins his journey towards the shining light in hopes that he too can light up the night sky. The game is more than a puzzle-platformer staring a living candle; Candleman dares it’s audience to dream bigger than they thought possible and to break free of the constraints and limitations they perceive there to be. Take my word for it; if you own a PC or and Xbox One you owe it to yourself to give this indie classic a chance. You won’t be disappointed.

A single candle can set off a room of explosions

 

Candleman: The Complete Journey

8.8

Final Score


8.8/10

Pros

  • Beautiful colors and incredible sound design
  • Wax mechanic is truly unique
  • A story that will stick with me for months

Cons

  • Can't control the camera
  • Sound didn't work through USB headset



About the Author

Chris Berto