Light Fall (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Albert Lichi 13.05.2018

Review for Light Fall on Nintendo Switch

Once again, indie devs are still feeling the ripples that Limbo created so many years ago. Silhouette-based adventure games seem to be a popular stylistic choice among designers with limitations. Why not? It gets the point across and allows the developer to focus more on the gameplay aspects, while having a stark and distinct visual style. With Light Fall, Bishop Games aims to craft a more action-puzzle-platformer hybrid that tests reflexes. After checking out an early build on PC, Cubed3 delves into the final release of the Nintendo Switch edition.

On the surface, Light Fall establishes itself by really trying to emphasise on the fiction or lore. There is extensive narration with a voice actor who kind of sounds like the Mayor of Townsville, atmospheric music, and even some illustration-style cut-scenes that set the tone. Even the earliest parts of the game have extended sequences of empty areas where there is just running. It isn't long before Light Fall finally shows its hand and finally gets really interesting and proves to be a challenging platformer with various quirks.

Although this may resemble something like Forma.8 or Albert & Otto, the gameplay is more like Celeste, the technical wall-jumper. The player-character, who can be best described as a shadowy wisp, controls with a great deal of manoeuvrability. Running and wall-jumping are not the only skills in this little dark sprite's move-set, as the little guy can create several mid-air blocks that also function like an extra jump or platform. This creates a lot of options to negotiate all kinds of perils, all while maintaining a very swift flow as he moves throughout the stages. It feels satisfying and looks cool to be able to narrowly zoom past a cave full of insta-death spikes. Since the protagonist is only allotted a limited amount of these mid-air blocks (about five), this is just enough to give some wiggle room for error. This is not a tightly designed challenge like The End is Nigh, which was hardcore on another level.

Screenshot for Light Fall on Nintendo Switch

Not all of Light Fall is full of dangerous and intense platforming. There are moments when the action dials itself back a bit and has some block puzzles. Sometimes this involves creating blocks to make a passage safe, other times it involves something much more creative or technical. Light Fall manages to stay varied throughout its admittedly short play-time. There are plenty of side-areas to explore to find some extra collectibles, but they really should have been mandatory challenges from the start. The best way to play Light Fallis on speed-run mode because it purely focuses on the strengths of the action. The narrative is not why anyone should play this.

This is not the most tightly designed game since it swings into being a narrative-driven affair at times, which is a bit perplexing. The narrative would be more engaging if it did not rely so much on a voice over narrating owl. The story actually does a very competent job explaining itself from the visuals in an effective manner. Having the narrator explain what is happening on-screen just feels unnecessary and it would be more engaging and interesting if everything was not spelled out in such an obvious way. Not fully explaining a visual is a great way to get people to consider imagery on a deeper level, but Light Fall really was banking on esoteric phrases like "Shadow Core" that nobody will remember.

Screenshot for Light Fall on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

Light Fall is a very competent 2D platformer with a fairly low barrier for kids to enjoy. This could be a good gateway game for the likes of N++ or Super Meat Boy, since the checkpoints are plentiful and it is generally not a punishing title. The visuals are not going to win any awards but they are not offensive or too derivative; merely adequate. Light Fall is a great one for those who are not quite ready to take on Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, but are growing out of Kirby Star Allies.

Developer

Bishop Games

Publisher

Bishop Games

Genre

2D Platformer

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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