Archaica : The Path of Light
Developed By : Two Mammoths
Published By : Drageus Games
Category : Strategy, Puzzle
Release Date : Apr 24, 2020
I think one thing most gamers can agree on, is that forcing a narrative in a game where it doesn’t belong is one of the worst things to deal with. One area this happens a lot, in my opinion at least, is puzzle games. So many games force you into obnoxious cutscenes or dialogue boxes, attempting to justify something that doesn’t need to be. There is a way it can be done, and enjoyed, and Archaica : The Path of Light just might be one of the ones that found the magic formula.
Through your adventure, as you could probably guess from the game’s subtitle, you’ll be in charge of guiding different lights around. Each of the levels will be situated with a selection of laser-like beams of light. Scattered around are various stones that need to be lit by their respective color in order to activate different lightwells.
To do this, there are a variety of ancient tools you’ll need to make use of. Every level has one or two sources of light which are fixed. There will also be different crystals which need to be lit up, and this is where your tools come in handy, but it won’t always be such an easy task.
The tools include things like Tesseracts which bounce the light in a new direction like a mirror, a Divider which absorbs the light beam and sends it in two directions, and Teleporters which act like small portals. However, it’s a tough battle finding the perfect positioning and orientation to complete the levels. As I mentioned above, the light crystals need to be lit up with their own color laser beam, but some crystals are a combination of colors. So not only will you have to bounce the light around perfectly, you’ll need to mix colors in the process too.
Other than the lighting crystals, you can spend your time looking for power cells and cryptoglyphs. The power cells are what charges up your hints, typically you’ll find about three per level. When you use a hint, it allows to you to place a small grid down on a section of the level. Once you lock in the position, the squares you selected will either have small X‘s on them or a circle. If it’s a circle this indicates a space where a tool needs to be placed, but it will be up to you to figure out which tool and how to face it.
The cryptoglyphs are what contains all the lore details in Archaica. Each level will have a number of these hidden around, that look like small stones with a flickering light. Most levels have three in hiding, but some will have two and others four. Once you find them all you’ll be treated to a small cutscene and a bit of flavor text filling you in on the details of some ancient battle. Occasionally these cryptoglyphs will unlock details on one of the tools you’re utilizing when it’s just been introduced.
This game is tough, and it only (naturally) increases in difficulty. Quite a few times I sat staring at my screen for a long time hoping the solution would just magically appear in my brain. It even worked a couple of times too! In the end though it’s actually a pretty fun game, and one of the more enjoyable puzzle titles I have played recently. If you love to do the puzzles, this is a great game to keep your brain busy. I think my only complaint would be not being able to rotate the level itself. It’s not needed as far as the game is concerned, but it’s one of those things that helps trick my brain into thinking I have a new “perspective” and assist with the solution.