Candle: The power of the flame
Developer: Teku Studios
Publisher: Merge Games
Category: Adventure, Puzzle
Release Date: 07.26.2018
Candle in the wind
The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long
The story of Candle: The power of the flame is made more interesting by the way that its told. The premise is simple. The lead shaman of your tribe has been kidnapped by a rival tribe who are for the purposes of this game, probably evil. Certainly sinister. As our titular tribesman Teku has the ability of mans red flower, fire, by means of one of his hands being a candle, he is instructed to rescue the tribe leader. It genuinely feels as though the narrative is boosted by the art style. As aforementioned, the game is brimming with artistic style and swagger and there is so much happening in the backgrounds and foregrounds.
I light a candle and place it up on the mantle
As well as the pacing of the game, the movement of our protagonist is also antagonistically slow. Despite the inclusion of a run button he fumbles his way around the screen, struggling with even the most rudimentary of platforming tasks, the humble jump. Its absolutely archaic at times and, certainly in my own play through, led to many a death. Some of the puzzles in this game require you to observe details in your surroundings in order to correctly solve them. That’s all well and good however, at the same time, also leads to another possible oversight. Because of the sheer amount going on at any given time on screen, it’s very easy to overlook things. Ironically, one of Candle: Power of the flame’s biggest strengths, it’s incredibly detailed art style, is also one of its great weaknesses.
If you have the patience of a saint, than perhaps you’ll take something from your time with this other than intense frustration. I would call it mind numbing, however, due to the muddled puzzles and busy environments it borders on gas lighting.
All these issues aside, there is no hiding from just how beautiful this game is. The artistic team have really gone above and beyond in creating something that permeates beyond simply being game graphics and truly becomes an art form.
All in all though I personally found that, albeit a beautiful piece of media, it simply wasn’t fun to play on any level. Try as it might, the entire concept simply fell flat, a real shame. Had the game been even half as enjoyable as the artistic direction, it would have been able a truimph. As it stands, it isn’t and I can’t within good reason recommend this game.
One of the most beautiful looking games I have ever seen. One of the most frustrating, broken, convoluted experiences I have had to endure.