Candle: The Power Of The Flame

Year: 2016
Platform: PlayStation 4
Genre: Puzzle
Review Date: 1/1/19
Rating: ***

When Teku's village is destroyed by marauders and the master Shaman is carried away, he dedicates himself to rescuing the master, and possibly saving the world from annihilation in the process. During his adventure, he encounters all sorts of bizarre people and creatures that either help or hinder his progress. The hand-painted environments are absolutely gorgeous and the game is simply wonderful to behold. The music nicely complements the visuals and Terry Wilton's warm and gentle narration gives the story an appropriate fairy tale feeling. Since it's a puzzle game, the pace is thoughtfully slow and contemplative, and there are only a handful of moments that require quick reflexes and precision timing. However, that doesn't mean it's easy. Like most puzzle games, the challenges are vague and infuriating, and the only way to get through it is to have a guide handy. Is this poor game design, or am I just stupid? Either way, it doesn't generate a lot of positive feelings. Failure results in immediate death, and you'll be dying a lot. Fortunately, the game resets quickly and doesn't require lots of backtracking. It's a relatively short game that can be completed in ten hours or less, and fans of games like "Machinarium" (2009), "Limbo" (2010), and "Samorost 3" (2016) will likely enjoy it. It's definitely worth checking out for the art alone.