<span class="bold">Candle</span> Candle
is one of the (many) reasons why Kickstarter and crowdfunding platforms are a good thing. Without them, the fine folks at the small Teku Studios would never have been able to finish their debut title, let alone get a partnership with Daedalic to release it
. Many people liked their idea and trusted their money to them, and Teku delivered in spades by producing an excellent and solid game.
It's a puzzle platformer (definitely not a point'n'click as some people tag it) adventure, with its main focus set on the puzzles. Its colourful hand-drawn graphics are absolutely gorgeous - seriously, just look at any screenshot
. The intro and ending sequences, as well as the cutscenes between chapters, are wonderfully done too: they're also hand-drawn, but more in a paper cut-out fashion that works very well. For some reason the framerate dropped noticeably during those sequences though, even though my PC was perfectly capable of running the rest of the game smoothly.
Both the English and the Spanish voiceovers are top-notch: the English version is narrated by Terry Wilton (of Trine
fame), whereas the Spanish narrator is voiced by the guy who usually dubs Morgan Freeman in movies. The rest of the characters speak gibberish, something I'm sure helped to cut costs both in the scripting and the sound departments. But anyway there's no need to understand their exact words, as their meaning is pretty obvious from the context and the comic-like speeach balloons with images that sprout from the characters' mouths. I'd bet all of this 'dialogue' was recorded by the Spanish devs themselves, as many words sounded suspiciously like Spanish slang words (like e.g. ), or even (in)famous real people (like [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aitor_Karanka]karanka
At first, the story seems as run-of-the-mill as you can get: peaceful village gets attacked and the shaman is kidnapped - young and unexpected hero goes after the kidnappers to try to safe him. But as the game advances, the plot develops into something a little deeper and more interesting (don't expect anything spectacular though). As I said, the meat of this game are the puzzles, which involve regular point'n'click mechanics like interacting with the environment or collecting objects and combining them, but also trying to stealth your way past some enemies, or finding clever ways to get rid of them. The main character Teku has a candle for a hand and, as you could expect from the title, it plays an important role in the game. Namely, you need to light it up in order to access dark places (otherwise Teku will refuse to go there), but sometimes you will want to put it out in order not to attract the attention of an enemy. And then there's this 'light burst' ability which is introduced during the tutorial but never really explained what it's for, so when in doubt use it everywhere! At least in a couple of occasions where I got stuck, the light burst was the key to making progress again.
This leads us to the subject of this game's difficulty. Despite its colourful and cartoony looks it is not an easy game. Many of the puzzles are tough but fair, the kind that makes you feel pretty smart when you figure them out for yourself and slap your forehead when you cannot, specially considering the environments are full of subtle hints. But then there are some instances when in order to solve a puzzle, or to find a certain object, you need to find secret locations that are in no way apparent. You know, those hidden places in which you'd expect to find extra non-essential stuff in other games. This is the only fault I've found in this game, though not a minor one. But hey, it's nothing a good walkthrough can't take care of, so don't hesitate to consult one if nothing else (not even the light burst ability) seems to work anywhere. My list of finished games in 2017