Candle The Power of the Flame opens up with a strong cut scene and the story has a very tribal feel that is not too heavy but interesting and we get to see glimpses of this fairytale unfold throughout the games charming atmosphere.
We play as Teku, a Light-Guide in the service of Yaqa, our tribes shaman. Our tribe is attacked by the hated Wakcha clan which has left the village in flames and our master Yaqa has gone missing. Sworn to protect our master we must venture forth to save our master from the evil Wakcha.
The story is secondary to gameplay but it frames the charming surroundings without slowing down your progression.
Candle The Power of the Flame is an action adventure game that revolves around solving its many puzzles whilst surviving the worlds various dangers. The game takes place across a series of screens in which as Teku you need to figure out how to progress, to figure out these puzzles you will need to pay close attention to the small details and avoid pitfalls and traps.
Teku has an interesting quirk, as a Light-Guide his left hand has been replaced with a perpetual candle – you can put it out but relight it if you find a torch of fire pit in which to do so. The game uses this throughout, you will find some mobs are afraid of the light and will cower away from it – without this they will kill you if you get too close, on the flip side you will need to sneak past some mobs who will be alerted if the light is lit.
Solving these sections often requires you to track back once you have new items, the trick is figuring what is used where and like all head scratchers sometimes you will need to think outside the box in order to progress. The game is difficult but I found that eventually I could figure out how to progress either from spotting a small detail I had missed or through trial and error.
It can be frustrating at times if you do find yourself stuck, particularly in some of the longer puzzles that involve timing and multiple screens – failing and dying will leave you annoyed after a while but on the flip some will leave you feeling a sense of achievement if you persevere. Whilst the controls are simple they can be a little unforgiving, particularly jumping which requires you to be quite precise, perhaps slightly overly so.
The world is well laid out and whilst the platforming elements and timing are important this plays closer to a point and click game than something fast paced like Another World.
The soundtrack uses South American tribal music to great effect, in particular the wind instruments featured add to the sense of wonder and adventure. The sound effects are equally good from enraging enemies to creeping across a map.
Visuals & Performance
Every inch of the game was painstakingly hand painted in watercolours and then digitised. This process must have taken the team of two developer Teku a crazy amount of time, indeed its a labour of love and the result is beautiful visuals with a dreamlike quality.
Each image was drawn and the backgrounds, objects and characters have each been scanned and layered to excellent effect. The style reminds me of a child’s fantasy tale, something like the Gruffalo or another epic in a good way. Motion is pleasant as well which is something that’s critical when embarking on such an ambitious project.
On the move the game looks great still and performance whether on the move or in docked mode is excellent with no bugs, slowdown or screen tear on show – at least during my playthrough.
At $14.99 in the US and £11.99 in the UK Candle is fairly priced for those who enjoy a challenging action adventure game, there are enough fiendish puzzles to keep you engrossed through its campaign and the effort that went into this beautiful game has to be considered. There is no longevity or replay value but the first play through was a blast for me.
Frustrating at times