Freeware Game Pick: ‘Of Light & Shadow’
As we see more and more indie games heading down the commercial route, it’s rare to see a game with such apparent pizazz as in the trailer as Of Light & Shadow being released for free. It’s apparent why the developers made this decision upon playing the game; it’s not particularly long. On top of that, a 2.5D platformer that plays with light and dark mechanics isn’t exactly something we’ve never seen before. Still, it’s a pleasant little thing for what it is, and easy to deem worth a play.
Developed by 12 students since early 2011, it’s clear that Of Light & Shadow has at the very least a couple of good artists behind it. The game starts off by setting down the premise with pencilled in visuals alone. There are two characters which co-exist in two different realms, if you like. Mr. Light and Dr. Shadow – need we say more? Mr. Light can run and jump whereas Dr. Shadow walks around in a bi-pedal machine which cannot jump but can walk along walls and ceilings as well as floors. Unfortunately, the light upon the planet which they dwell goes out so they set off to fix it; at least, that’s what seems to be the case.
First you’ll play Mr. Light in a fairly standard platforming level with jumps over lava and moving platforms to time correctly. The only difference being that you must stick in the coned light for a few seconds in shadow will obliterate him. Being made in Unity, the art is clean, smooth and fairly colorful. During Dr. Shadow’s introductory level and further on in the game you’ll come across some more fantastical elements such as a giant meditating toad and a whale which sticks out its tongue for you. Regarding the playing as Dr. Shadow, things are arguably a little tougher, but only marginally, as you move at all angles to avoid light and other environmental objects, as well as solve a couple of puzzles due to being able to push levers.
After the first two levels are completed, you’ll then play the rest of the game with the ability to switch between both characters at will. This is introduced quite elegantly with a simple level which has clear moments when you should be each character. You’re travelling on a treadmill as various hazards move towards you and at times light will be introduced or taken away so as to dictate which character you shall be.
After this point, the game then gives you a little bit more of a challenge which is usually working out a puzzle with Dr. Shadow, jumping across platforms with Mr. Light or a slightly awkward combination of both. By “awkward” it is meant not how the game works or is designed, but more how the player has to constantly flicker between the two characters while judging jumps with light or without and so on. To write this down may make it sound much more complicated than it is – at no point was the game ever really that challenging.
To finish up, the player is placed in a circle of hazards and moving light sources. It’s quite a fun way to end the game and is certainly the peak of the game’s challenge, but it does feel as if the game was only just starting to gain momentum. Take that as a good thing, that the game left us wanting more – especially to see what else the artists could have come up with to keep us entertained in the background with various creatures as well as the challenge in the foreground.
Being free, you can’t really complain about Of Light & Shadow. It won’t last you long nor will it challenge anyone with platforming experience, the world created due to the game’s art is rather alluring though, and so if you find yourself intrigued about the game just by some of the screens or the trailer then you may as well give it a shot. You can download the game for Windows by clicking on this link.
Find out more information about Of Light & Shadow over on the official website.