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Let there be light | Flood of Light Nintendo Switch Review

Browsing the library of my beloved Nintendo Switch led me to one conclusion, what should I review next. Sometimes, a certain game will stand out to you. In my case, Flood of Light was outshining the other recent releases. It’s a puzzle game with a rather melancholic atmosphere as a city is constantly facing a heavy rain downpour. Flood of Light is a new attempt to test your puzzle abilities. This sounds really interesting and after some research, I was enlightened. I need to play this game. Am I able to bring light into the dark?

Hope City. What a name for a town colored in various shades of black, grey, white, and many other dull tones. The constant sound of rain as you step through the various levels paired up with the soft, but sad melody playing along will make you believe the developers are playfully pulling your leg with the city’s name. The Guide, a little girl dressed in a white raincoat, is serving as the protagonist. Supernatural power inherits her, so she seems to be the only hope for the little robots of the city. Besides her and the new friends our little heroine will make, the whole city is wiped out thanks to the never-ending rain. While on your journey, the only clues you get about what happened are from letters that were left behind. The author is a mysterious Dr. S, documenting his studies on what happened to Hope City as well as his trying to save it. What role does the little girl play in this whole story? You might have guessed it by now. You are the only hope that is left for the little robots that had to be abandoned by the humans that once built them.

Flood of Light Image 1

Will you be able to save Hope City and discover who you really are?

With so much water falling from the sky, it caused a flood in this modern city. By controlling light, The Guide is able to reduce the water level and to proceed further down the building where you start off. You make your way down slowly on an elevator from the 8th floor to the ground; you sure have some cleaning to do! I think it’s no surprise that each floor down cranks up the difficulty a notch and tests your strategy anew. For example, every stage has a pair of lamps for you that you have to light to overcome various obstacles like locked doors or an elevator that needs to be operated. Our little cutie pie, however, cannot provide light by herself; that would make that game too easy!

Useful pieces of advice to advance can be given by robots you repair by pressing A and holding it until a circle icon is completely filled out. Press the Y button, it will summon a soft glowing circle around The Guide. It has a short radius and all the light within this little circle will be drawn to the player, following her like little glowing fireflies. She then uses them to progress to another point further in the game.  For example, Flood of Light will often require you to light rows of lantern to open a door. When it does, you usually need four little light bubbles to activate the desired action. You got four lanterns and you currently have six shining light sources. The Guide cannot control the amount of light being sent off. So, if you send off six bubbles off to four lamps, two bubbles will remain. This will cause the last lantern to branch out but it isn’t too bad. If you can reach that lantern, the player can easily snatch them back into their possession. If you can’t reach, well… too bad for you, start over!

Flood of Light Image 2

No worries. You still can get that light back!

Thankfully, the developers have set the savepoints very fairly. If you found yourself stuck in a situation where you cannot do anything anymore, simply go into that Pause menu and hit Restart. It will reset the made mistakes and you can overthink your strategy again. Now, can I have that in real life, please?

Gathering these units of light sources and using them to your advantage is the most important thing you can do. It will help lead you to your main goal: reactivating all 8 sky pedestals located on each floor. The short tutorial will teach you the controls in bite-size pieces that are easy to digest… But also can be causing some stomach ache. When I first played the game, I was simply going in the wrong direction and got stuck. I could not do anything besides restarting the game and start over again. Maybe that was just me, but restricting the player to go to an area where the tutorial does not want you to go would have been foolproof, and helpful. Despite that, the tutorial explained well and was not too long. The amount given to the player to figure out and practice the controls were never too painstakingly long or confusingly short.

Flood of Light Image 3

Anybody got an umbrella for my poor friend…?

Even though the explanation was well, the flimsy controls when sending light on its way underlined the fact that this game was made for mobile phones, as well as PC. Sometimes I needed several attempts to connect the lanterns or even get the light started to set on its journey. Don’t ask me if I might have grown impatient over puzzle solving. Let’s just say, I had my difficulties. The touchscreen can be used and would have been the perfect solution to this, but… You can only control the way The Guide is walking with the tip of your finger. It isn’t too bad, but if that is your main move, even the nice music cannot calm your nerves sometimes.

Speaking of the music, the piece you hear is wonderfully composed. The piano play is delicate, on point and could not be chosen better. Even though the variety is practically non-existent, the developer made a clever choice in breaking the loop with moments of musical silence. The only tone kissing your ears will be the gentle sound of falling rain.


Verdict

Flood of Light makes an amazing job of combining simplicity. It started with gameplay, over to visuals and to music; keep it simple is the motto, and it works. The game is beautiful to look at without the newest high-end graphics and is easy on the eyes on both handheld and TV mode. The restriction of actions in that title might depress you and might make you a tad uncomfortable. Heroes are normally powerful and gain dazzling skill sets over time, but that is what this 2D puzzle game is trying to draw you away from. As the player, you are restricted by a few simple moves that force you to take your time to think, just as you need in chess.

Having a few little issues that are not major, Flood of Light is a pretty package of a 2D puzzler that will both be satisfying and challenging. The pace you are keeping up with will rise constantly, but will never be overwhelming. Veterans of puzzle games will both be happy about this title as well as a beginner. Be warned though, if you are not into that kind of genre, you won’t start to love it because of Flood of Light. If you are though, I can recommend this game to you. My only regret is the, in my opinion, missed the opportunity to put more depth into what’s indeed an interesting story.


A code for Flood of Light was provided by Indienova for the purposes of this review.

No copyright infringement is intended, I do not claim ownership of the featured image used in this article, all credit to the original image providers.

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