Alight (in dreams) – Guidology’s OFFICIAL Review
Alight (in dreams) is a new art adventure game that takes you through the dreams of a young man as he rethinks and relives key events in his life that lead him to view the world a gloomy, uninteresting and dull, resulting eventually in suicidal thoughts. I’d describe this as an art game, because the game is mainly focused entirely on the storyline and the thoughts of the character, but unlike many art games that I’ve seen (which is a pretty unpopulated genre), Alight actually has difficulty and in each world you must retrieve an object, bring you on different routes and paths throughout the game, making this a somewhat challenging platformer. This game is a must play – it’s so unique and the character’s thoughts give new insight to one that may be going through these troubles from a different lens.
While the game actually wasn’t entirely focused on the difficulty, there were many difficult parts in the game. That surprised me! Most art games leave out difficulty and sometimes gameplay to only bring you a storyline, but instead, Alight allowed both difficulty and enjoyable gameplay, along with a miraculous storyline and dialog to bring you an all-round amazing game. In each level, you must climb to a platorm that contains multiple pedistals each one containing a red candle, blue clock, or a feather and depending on which one you choose you must return to the beginning of the level through a different route as new walls appear. If you touch these walls your character dies. Reach the beginning of the level again was usually quite difficult, but at the same time, very fun and enjoyable that challenged you a bit.
In my opinion, the gameplay was lacking and when I say this, I’m excluding the storyline and dialog, as those were fantastic, but the overall gameplay of jumping from one platform to another was lacking. I think what it was, was that for the first half of the level, before you collect an item, there is no difficulty at all. I would have loved to see some sort of enemies appear while you’re trying to find the pedestals. Gameplay just felt insufficient a bit and frankly, when you’re not reading the text, the game wasn’t too interesting. But, when you were reading the text and understanding the character, you don’t feel boredom, but curiosity and you want to know how the game ends and what happens next. This game is much like a good book that you can’t put down. Sure, there are a few bumps in the road, and parts can be on the boring side, but overall, the book was good and while reading it you feel in a different place. This game suppressed different ideas and has achieved something that I’ve seen few games do. The dialog was rich and conveyed real emotion and was fluid and believable. Overall, some of the best, most thought-provoking, text and atmosphere in any game I’ve seen.
An interesting thing about this game, is that if you replay it, you can see many hints about how the game ends. Such as the first dialog box: “My dreams never possess scents, but all I can smell now is smoke.” If you want the full experience of this game, you have to play it twice. It’s unbelievably eerie to go through the game again and see those hints about you unavoidable future. There is also another ending in the game that I’ve seen a couple of people talking about and on my own hunch I believe there may be multiple endings, but I’m not entirely sure.
The artwork was sublime and look great. The character design was very good and the wings and character, were well animated. While platforms looked heavily patterned, it gave that nice retro, old-school, kind of look that the game was obviously aiming for. The platforms looked great and the the rock (patterned) reminded me of older games. There was good depth in the rock, which the artist was going for. The grass looked nice as well and it complimented the rock quite nicely. The background was simple and the clouds were uniquely designed, made entirely out of squares.
The music, which I have to say was phenomenal, is by Smiletron. The music was dark and gloomy and perfectly matched and aided the theme of text of this game. The music definitely gives you the depressed feeling that is echoed by the character and his thoughts. THis was a great music choice by the developers and I’m throughly impressed by this piece. Smiletron actually has a ton more pieces on his or her site, which you can check out here. Sound effects were too loud and I actually liked it that way, because then the sound seemed much more focused on the awesome pieces of music.
All in all, Alight is one of the best art/platformer that I’ve had the chance to play! It’s fresh, yet dark and eerie dialog will suck anyone in and will hold their attention till the end of the game. Anyone that likes platformers, or art games (or both!) will definitely enjoy Alight as it combines both of those into into one great and very unique game. The game actually got pretty difficult, especially when you snatched an item and has to bring it back to another location. The gameplay, sadly got dull at parts, but when you were reading that fantastic text there couldn’t possibly be a dull moment. The artwork was really good and was simple. I loved the simple, retro look! Finally, the music, by Smiletron, was phenomenal and worked very well with the game, as they both had quite dark moods. In conclusion, Alight is by far my favorite art game and definitely ranks high as one of my favorite platformers that I’ve played in a while. If you haven’t play this game, then click the link below!
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