Review

Ubisoft, with Ubi-Art
Made a game that’s a step apart
Child of Light is a joy to play
Unlike anything you’ve seen this day.

Beautiful brush strokes created this world you see.
Hand-drawn water-colours beautifully created
This side scrolling action, turn-based RPG,
Starring Aurora the Princess, dying in her bed.

Transported to the land of Lemuria,
Aurora must reunite the sun, the moon, and even the star,
To bring back bright light to this dreary area,
And prosperity to the land wide and far.

Many friends she will meet upon her time there.
Like Igniculus, the bright and tiny firefly,
Who travels with Aurora in these lands so bare.
Lighting her way and healing he does apply.

Like a fairy tale told to a very small child,
This story will live on for quite some time.
Joy springs forth as the story is styled,
All told in a soothing fairy tale rhyme.

Child of Light Screen (6)

Okay, seriously, Child of Light, another game from the talented artists at Ubisoft Montreal using their Ubi-Art framework, truly is a new fairy tale told in a side scrolling game with turn-based RPG combat. This game stars Aurora, a princess who, while she lay on her death bed, is transported to the lost land of Lemuria and given the task of reuniting the Sun, the Moon, and the Stars to bring light back to the land. The story unfolds in typical fairy tale way: with a narrator speaking as if reading to a young child, and every line of the story, whether character dialogue, quest directions, or narration, is told in rhyme. Child of Light even looks like a fairy tale book as everything in the game is an intricately hand crafted water colour painting.

The game is a bit of a departure from your typical RPG. This is a 2D side scrolling game with turn based RPG combat. All enemies are visible on the screen so players are able to avoid them should they choose, or blind them with Igniculus, a second player-controlled entity that lights the way or helps reach areas that Aurora can’t reach. Igniculus is controlled with the right thumbstick or can be controlled by a second player using another controller. In battle, Igniculus can heal the player and companions or can blind the enemies, significantly slowing them down on the battle timeline.

Child of Light Screen (4)

Battles, while taking on the basic turn-based mechanic, still have a sense of urgency to them. Character turns (player and enemy) are timed along the bottom of the screen on a timeline. As each hero or enemy reaches the end of the “wait” phase of the timeline and enters the “cast” phase, the next move is decided. This is where the action pauses and players can take the time they need to decide their move. Each action is either a short, medium, long or very long move. This decides how much time the player remains inside the action phase before the move is executed. Should an enemy attack before the action is initiated, the player is “interrupted” and send back to the middle of the wait phase, losing their current attack.

The first few hours of Child of Light, this battle mechanic feels new and unique but seems to get a little tedious as battles get tougher and enemies begin to employ ‘interrupt counters’ that react if the player interrupts their attack. This can easily set the player back several turns and can do some great harm. Understanding when to attack and defend and when to slow down enemies with Igniculus will become crucial as the story progresses. With nine total player characters, including Aurora, knowing when to use each character will also help. In tougher battles, a character that can slow down or knock back opponents will be critical. Some enemies can counter physical attacks, so these enemies are better dealt with by using a magic user. Of all the eight extra companions, however, I only found myself using a select few during the course of the entire game.

Child of Light Screen (3)

Child of Light is like several story books all in one story. Each chapter in the story could be told as a stand-alone Princess Aurora story as she helps the many people and villages in Lemuria. Ultimately, however, there is one story that strings all these smaller chapters together and that is Aurora’s quest to bring light back to the land and find her way home again. And it is this thread that kept me glued to the TV and controller in anticipation. It has been a long time since pure and utter joy welled up inside of me while playing a video game, but Child of Light did that. I found myself truly smiling and excited at everything here.

This is a new fairy tale that takes elements we’ve known and loved for years, and interweaves them into something truly unique. Child of Light is a side-scroller, it’s an RPG, but most of all, it is an intricately painted and beautifully told Fairy Tale. It is a magical game that is sure to transport you to that place in their childhood when the impossible was possible, magic was real, and fairy tales truly lived.

Child of Light is true joy unfold.
Such beauty it is all around.
A living world with magic foretold.
Visuals and music and poetry abound.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.



About the Author

Sean
Sean is an avid gamer and lover of all thing tech. He is a dedicated husband and the father to three beautiful daughters. In addition to taking his love of gaming to a new level with this site, Sean is also host of our podcasts: The OMG! Hour, Lost Treasures of Gaming, and Primetime as well as the bi-weekly podcast mashup show, Gamers Unscripted. Follow Sean on Twitter as @Xiantayne and this blog as @OMGnexus.