Review: Child of Light

Published January 15, 2016 by Amanda B. Greene

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Child of Light was the game-of-the-year in 2014 for many it seems, and I’m late to the party. I beat it recently and I truly enjoyed almost everything about it. The story and characters are good, suiting the fairytale theme. The music was alright, the song in the end credits and the main battle theme stood out. Beauty is clearly the focus point of this game because the art is amazing. I recommend Child of Light, whether it’s at full price or at a discount on occasion.

 ** Review **

** 9.0/10 **

Story

The main narrative is about Aurora, a young princess of Lemuria who later becomes known as the Child of Light. She goes to sleep, only to never wake up. Everyone thinks that she is as good as dead, and in hearing that news, her father falls ill. Aurora wakes up on an altar, having no idea of what happened or where she is…

The environments are beautiful as they looked like they were either hand-drawn or done in water colors well. Everything just feels pleasing to the eye as you explore the world you found yourself in. In a way, I kind of felt like a kid again reading a book full of vivid illustrations of others’ imaginations.

There are also small side quests that you can do to learn more about and recruit others to help you on your journey. There could’ve been more missions added to flesh the side characters out more, but my only main complaint is how the ending seemed too sudden as if there was more originally planned to be had, but ran short on money to do so.

Gameplay

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The battle system is strange since it’s a combination of turn-based and real-time strategy where timing is everything. The two in your party active in the battle and the number of enemies are displayed on a timeline where everyone races to act before the other. The key is to interrupt the monsters while they’re in the middle of casting, so their moves get canceled and they get set back – keep in mind the enemy will do the same. With this, you can essentially make it so the opposition can’t act at all, but this is hard to do unless you take care of the boss’s minions; So, I recommend taking care of the weaker foes before taking on the stronger ones. Anyways, it is not only unique but challenging and engaging as you have to keep your full attention as to what to do next.

To help aid you in battle, there are augments you can create and attach (up to three) to each character in order to boost stats or to give them other effects. The augments are gems you gather and then craft together for different results to later put on equipment. These become truly important the deeper you get into the game as you have to use elements to your advantage. Examples are how dark creatures are weak to light, fiery beasts are vulnerable to water and so on.

There is also further customization in how you choose to upgrade each character. Once someone levels up from earning enough experience, he or she gets skill points that you use to go down different trees that focus on various attributes. Depending on where you go, you can get new moves and/or increase certain stats. I chose the mainly focus on one and then go for the others, but there really is no right or wrong way to go about it.

Music

As I said, all the music is alright to good at best. However, I loved the sound effects. All the monsters sounded realistic and scary or creepy, especially the ghosts. Sometimes I had to turn down the volume of my TV because people upstairs could hear me fighting or my dogs would get frightened, or spooked at the very least, from the sounds of the game.

Final Note

Child of Light felt as great as bigger, more well-known titles despite some of its flaws. This game is one of the many hidden gems that can be discovered from indie developers. It makes me hopeful that more companies, no matter how small, become successful through creating well-crafted, unique, and fun experiences that inspire and challenge others in and out of the video game industry to do the same. Anyways, Child of Light is worth playing. 🙂

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4 comments on “Review: Child of Light

  • Though I definitely agree that the beautiful style of the game was the focus, I strongly disagree about the music. The music is what actually got me interested in the game in the first place. The simplistic beauty of the piano and violins (additional orchestral instruments throughout of course) helped tell the fairy tale they were telling. I’d have to see what you considered “good” or “great” to better understand your lack of love for the soundtrack.

      • Putting it like that makes it less demeaning. Saying you wish there was more of it is completely different from saying it was “alright to good at best.” By “more” do you mean a larger variety than the looping songs, or just more of the looping songs in general?

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