First created during the 48-hour Ludum Dare competition in 2013 with the theme of “10 seconds” Candleman gives you 10 seconds of light per level to navigate through its low-light 3D platform worlds. Should Candleman illuminate your games collection? Read our review to find out..
In Candleman you play as a sentient candle who goes on a journey to discover “why he burns” and “why he’s different”. You control Candleman through a variety of low-light worlds to help him on his journey. Gameplay is fairly straight forward, with only a few button presses to consider, you move candleman with the left stick, with jump and light assigned to a few of the buttons on the controller. Light is the focus of the gameplay, as mentioned above, you only get 10 seconds of light to help you navigate through the levels, there’s a lot of photographic memory needed during play, especially in later levels where you’ll be ‘lighting’ for a split second to try and get an idea of where to manoeuvre Candleman, as not only do the levels become longer, there will be a series of hazards introduced too.
Each chapter has a different overall theme that incorporate different mechanics providing variety to the platforming gameplay. For example, the first chapter is set on a ship and you have to deal with the ships movement while navigating the levels as chains, barrels and certain platforms sway and roll with the motion. While during chapter 6 you have to navigate the level using flower heads as platforms, with the twist being the heads only open when exposed to light. It keeps the simplistic gameplay fresh throughout.
There’s a side objective of lighting static candles that are scattered throughout each level, some are on the main path, while others are hidden along alternate routes, lighting them also gives off some light that helps with navigation, along with providing some replay value if you’ve missed any, and/or are a completionist you can level select at any time to go back and look for them. there are some candles that are slightly diferent in shape and give off a different glow, these are checkpoints that you respawn at should you happen to die.
Visually the game works really well, creating a low light game without making it impossible to see is a difficult task, but Spolightor has done a fantastic job with the placement of ambient lighting that makes it enjoyable and atmospheric. The music fits perfectly with the games atmospheric visuals and is quite relaxing.