Light Fall, by Bishop Games, is a fast-paced platforming adventure about a young boy and his magical toy box. Light Fall hits Steam and the Nintendo Switch today, April 26th 2018. After getting the chance to check out the game on Steam, here are my thoughts on Light Fall.
Light Fall is one of those of games that benefits from the whole less is more mentality. Throughout each of the levels, the designers made wonderful use of color. A lot of the platforms that the player interacts with are black, but all of the artistic design is in the background. With each new stage the player can easily make out the areas they are visiting, from the outskirts of a Plain lands village, to a murky swamp, to the secret forest capital of the Kamloops. Light Fall does a good job of making sure that the player can differentiate between safe platforms and obstacles. In every level, no matter which area you are in the foreground is always a dark color, either black or dark maroon-purple and Light Fall’s version of the classic platformer spike are bright glowing pink crystals. All in all, while the stages of Light Fall are no Bob Ross painting, they do a wonderful job of keeping things simple and interesting.
Right off the bat, Light Fall hits the player with some excellent music. Starting from the menu music all the way through the entire story, the music helps set the tone for each area you visit. There are a couple of times where the speaking parts of the game overpower the music, but that is easily fixed by adjusting the volume settings in the menu. As for the voice acting, it is very well done. Throughout the story, there are only ever two characters that have speaking parts, as well both characters were performed by the same voice actor for the English audio version of Light Fall. Though there aren’t many different varieties to the types of enemies, traps and the like throughout the game, each one had a good audio tell so the player wouldn’t be caught off guard by a sudden death. Well, at least not after learning the tell. Again the music in Light Fall was amazing and as an added bonus, on Steam at least, the entire soundtrack will be available in the DLC section of the game. Whether it will be free with purchase of the game or cost a little extra is yet to be determined at the moment of writing this review.
The official story trailer from the Bishop Games Youtube channel gives a great understanding of how the music is in this games.
Light Fall’s story has a lot of under the surface tones to it while feeling a little straightforward. Throughout each of the areas, the story is narrated by the player’s owl companion, Stryx, and he gives a little bit of backstory to some of the things happening in the world of Numbra. The driving force of the main character is to help the Kamloop people, since waking up in a field and finding that the village inhabitants have all disappeared and the appearance of these mysterious pink crystals. As the player progresses through the game, they discover more about the plot of the main villain, and together with Stryx work to bring an end to said villain. All in all, the story isn’t anything extraordinarily original, but the simplicity of the story works great with the game. There is a ton of extra story if you look for it through one of the collectibles, and those diary entries are great additions to the lore of Numbra, but aren’t important to the overall game.
Light Fall does an amazing job of bringing a fast-paced platforming adventure. The game can be played with a keyboard and mouse on Steam, though I’d recommend playing with a controller as it felt more natural to me and is how I played for this review. As the player progresses, they learn different ways to use the main character’s cube. Such as spawning it underneath for an extra platform, creating it in front to use as a shield, and creating walls for the player to jump up. Also as the player moves from area to area, new obstacles and enemies appear, making the player think outside the box to get past them. While Light Fall does have end of Act “bosses”, they aren’t set up in a typical manner. Everything is a platforming puzzle and you may need to jump from platform to platform to hit crystals to let someone free or soak them in goo. The game does also have a Hard mode, which adds more obstacles and changes some enemy locations. But the biggest challenge of Hard mode is that there is only one checkpoint in every level. That checkpoint is at the beginning of each stage, challenging the player to complete the level without dying. The platforming is fun and fast-paced and you’re always looking for a new way to finish a level faster or trying to find all of the collectibles.
Content and End Game 9/10
While Light Fall itself isn’t a very long game, with only four Acts consisting of three to four stages each. The game does have a bunch of other things the player can do. There are of course the different collectibles throughout each of the levels. The collectibles consist of golden triangles that are a kind of codex of the history of the Kamloops on Numbra, all from the perspective of a Kamloop named Paddlewood. There are also the many Kamloop villagers trapped in crystals that can be located scattered throughout the different levels. Something that Light Fall does to aid the player in keeping track of what they’ve collected, is that each levels checkpoint tells you how many of each there are in said level. On top of the Hard mode that the game offers, there is also a Speed Running mode. In the Speed Run mode, players can either tackle levels they have already finished, one at a time, or the entire game in a Marathon Speed run. This is a great addition to the game. Speed running is a big part of gaming culture now, and being able to practice single levels at a time to perfect each one for the big speed run is amazing. Also, this mode allows players to race against other players ghost data to challenge themselves and to learn some tips and tricks for each level. The Speed Running mode alone is a great addition to the end game of Light Fall and will keep players coming back to try to get the fastest time or just trying to beat their own times.
Light Fall is a great Indie game addition to your gaming library, whether you are playing it on Steam or on the Nintendo Switch. While visually the game isn’t anything groundbreaking, the fast-paced gameplay and platforming are the real gems of this title. With the collectibles and Speed Run mode to come back to, players can easily find reasons to keep coming back to play more Light Fall, even after finishing the story. In closing, I highly recommend this title to anyone who is big into platformers and trying to get into speed running. It may not win any awards this year, but it is definitely worth your time. Light Fall gets an 8.5 out of 10.