lightfall

PAX South was chaotic in the best ways possible. In a sea of people calling for my attention and being overwhelmed by all of the buzz, it was hard for most booths to stand out to me. Through all of this I saw Light Fall, and hovered over the booth of the game that would end up being my PAX South darling.

I had the chance to briefly speak with Light Fall’s lead writer, Ben Archer, about their project and Bishop Games. They’re a team of three who loaded up and came all the way to PAX South to show off their first project; quite the trip for a Quebec-based studio.

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In terms of genre, platformers aren’t number one on my list and probably couldn’t even manage to land in my top five. As I’ve gotten older I’ve lost interest in them, but occasionally I find a little gem that strikes a chord with me. Light Fall is definitely one of those gems.

Let’s talk about the world of Numbra for a moment. At first glance a friend with me commented that the art style looked like something in the same vein as Limbo, but with splashes of color. While I do agree, everything in Light Fall does not disguise all that is dangerous in a sea of black. The colors used to dot the landscape are gorgeous but deadly. In this game, most of what I found to be beautiful was something I needed to try and avoid.

Light Fall’s appeal does not end with aesthetic, as that was just the beginning of my praise in my first encounter with the indie platformer. The controls were also sharp, and the learning curve was simple enough. After a few times of hopping around over crystals and failing, I quickly figured out how to navigate Light Fall’s stunning landscape.

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Situations where the jump proved too treacherous for the little boy protagonist to vault over alone were interesting. I died once or twice, but soon realized I had to make use of this thing called the Shadow Core. The Shadow Core is a mysterious artifact the protagonist can summon a limited number of times per jump. Players can use the Shadow Core to navigate over spaces far too wide for the protagonist to brave alone. It also comes in handy later on in a few puzzles.

For a game that’s still in production, Light Fall is magnificent. I was pleased to see word of mouth spread by the end of PAX South day one, and pass a large line waiting to play this indie treasure. Bishop Games has all of my praise, and this project is certainly one I’ll be watching.

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