If your bent is towards keyboard
(or gamepad) driven platform style adventures, in a word Candle is a
gem. An imperfect one, but still a gem. Think Limbo and Inside, but
colourful and whimsical.
It looks gorgeous. Lavish
hand-painted watercolours create a world that is a delight to be in. The
website calls it a living painting, and that is a fairly apt
There is a South American
flavour to things, and it flows through to the soundtrack. It can be
jaunty, lyrical, melancholic... In short, it sounds nearly as good as it
That includes the ambient sound
and the voices. Most voices are sing-song gibberish, little picture
bubbles indicating what is being said. The game is narrated, and the
narrator will occasionally step in and decipher the pictures. When I
thought I understood the conversation, it was useful confirmation. When
I didnít, it was a helpful insight.
Before we leave the narrator, he
was as top notch as everything else. And by the end I think I realised
he was one of the central characters.
The plot centres on Teku, a
young man out to rescue his tribe's shaman from the nasty Wakcha Clan.
Teku has tenacity and a candle for a left hand. Light it to scare things
away or illuminate the gloom, but watch out for rain. A candle is also
essential for other special actions. There is a fairy tale quality to
proceedings, and ultimately things are not what they seemed.
Being a platform game, Tekuís
efforts arenít all plain sailing, and attention to detail and a
willingness to try things is essential.
Also being a platform game, Teku
can die, though not by falling off things. Walk to an edge and he will
stop and wait for further instructions. Death may however be around the
corner; mistime a jump, fall too far, fail to avoid the guards, donít
avoid the arrow in time, fail to outwit the bees Ė all manner of things
can bring Teku undone. Usefully though he will be restored to a point
before the failure, whether you saved or not, and you can have another
go. Saving regularly at the fairly frequent save pods is nonetheless
You will need to fail to work
out how to succeed. Such is the nature of these games. Some solutions
were beyond me; while I made incremental advancements through trying
things and failing, some sequences or combinations or timings, or all
three, eluded me. Having looked at a walkthrough to move on, some of the
more elaborate and complex would possibly still be beyond me.
I expect that though in these
types of games. If every step was like that, then you would quickly lose
interest. There are so many of them however, and so many opportunities
to succeed, that each one provides encouragement, sometimes even a
thrill (leaping the lion-like beast up the walls and ricocheting back
and forth was one of those) and a silent pat on the back when you
succeed. I felt compelled and encouraged to keep going.
Tekuís world is a big one too,
bigger in some parts, but if you are stuck there are generally other
places to go and see what you can do. Which also means there are many
places to look for things, which you will need to do assiduously.
Given its platform style, you
essentially move left and right and up and down. There are a few screens
where you can move from the foreground to the background, but these
happen by selecting the particular icon and Teku will then run there
himself. By no means though does this limit the feeling of spaciousness,
partly because of the elaborate nature of the world.
Being keyboard/gamepad driven,
you donít explore the environment other than with Teku. If he is in a
place he can do something, a relevant icon will (generally) appear. The
exception is his special candle power, for which you will get no
indication that it is needed or that anything can in fact be done in
that location. As you go on, you will get a sense of the sort of places
it might be useful, but I did find this aspect more opaque than it could
Which is a nice segue to another
aspect. More than being opaque, there a few parts of the environment
that you canít see until you try and enter a part you canít see. There
is nothing in the game to suggest you try and go there, and while I
stumbled upon one, I needed a walkthrough to identify a couple of
There are also occasions where
the lack of feedback from the game about what you might need effectively
prevents you from looking for what you might need. The blacksmith is a
case in point; he says he needs you to start his furnace to fix a lever,
but when you do, you canít move on without giving him something else
that he doesnít tell you about so you donít know there is something else
you need. Candle is not Robinson Crusoe in that respect, but at times a
little more direction would have been appreciated.
The endgame involves a timed
puzzle that itself isnít that difficult, but which again I had to fail a
few times to solve, and for which I didnít find a clue in the
environment. That might have been me.
There are some out and out
puzzles throughout, and one game of skill that is exactly that. You can
play with subtitles or not and tweak some settings. There are Steam
achievements (I got about half) and I invested over 30 hours in getting
to the end. Again, that might have said more about me, but there is no
way this is a short game.
If you like these sorts of game,
Candle demands your attention.
I played on:
OS: Windows 10, 64 Bit
Processor: Intel i7-6700 4GHz
RAM: 32GB GDDR5
Video card: AMD Radeon RX 470 8192MB
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