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Candle Knight Review

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Candles have been used as a source of light, as well as having celebratory and religious meanings, for over 5000 years. No one is sure who first came up with the idea of their burning, but we know the ancient Egyptians and Romans loved a candle. 

In video games, they’ve also been used to create spooky lighting effects in rooms, or working as markers to help the player find their way through the darkness. And sometimes, in a small handful of games, you get to play as a candle itself.

Candle Knight is one of those games – a beautiful and challenging platformer. 

Candle Knight review 1
Candles, and a Knight…

This 2.5D metroidvania platformer has no huge story or massive introduction to its narrative. It’s a simple story, one told through the visuals of the dark castle you are trying to give light back to. There are small, well-conceived cut scenes before each battle and some text pieces of dialogue with a merchant and some other NPCs. It doesn’t need too much story though, because the atmosphere and visuals do all the work. In fact, it reminds of Little Nightmares in how it tells a story. 

You start the game waking up in some Knight’s armour, with a candle and wick as a head. You learn to jump and platform with the usual tutorial, but soon the little Candle Knight acquires a sword and a shield, helping to move them forward in their quest. From there, the platforming side of the game is engaging without doing anything new or different. And as you may expect to hear, in Candle Knight you’ll get access to various upgrades, like a double jump and wall climb which helps you go back and explore previously unreachable areas. 

The combat has a Souls-like feel to it, particularly in the way you will need to be careful and considered in your attack and defence tactics. You can block with the shield and attack with the sword, but there is something unique to the combat, in the form of a sort of live difficulty system, all related to the colour of the flame on your head.

It works in regards to the amount of damage you receive or give. For example, in a warm glow stage, you have a low attack but high defense, and in a fiery state, you have a high attack but low defense. It’s a good system, especially for those who like a challenge in their gameplay. 

Candle Knight review 2
Become The King

On top of that, Candle Knight comes with tricky boss battles, with ramping difficulty in terms of the platforming, all as things get harder and harder. There is a lovely mechanic where you enter paintings, bringing some nice variety to it. 

Candle Knight has a beautiful aesthetic. Its backgrounds are amazing, with some great lighting and perfect backdrops to the frantic gameplay. Overall, the presentation is of a very high standard for a game of this size, and whilst the character is good and the level design is quite familiar, it is all fun enough, even though it’s very challenging. 

The soundtrack complements that gameplay, working a great mix of sentimental ballads and rocking action pieces. It has some great pieces of music that you can unlock at a merchant’s if you want to listen to a particular track in your own time. 

Candle Knight review 3
Fancy some platforming as the Candle Knight?

Candle Knight will take you on a glorious journey, one complete with lovely visuals and rare cut scenes. The platforming elements are good without being anything different, but it’s the interesting combat mechanic that gives Candle Knight an extra element of thought.

If you’re a Souls fan, you’ll relish what is on offer in Candle Knight. There’s a definite challenge here.

SUMMARY

Pros:
  • Combat mechanics
  • Lovely visuals
  • A haunting soundtrack
Cons:
  • A bit too challenging
Info:
  • Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, JanduSoft
  • Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), Xbox One, PS5, PS4
  • Release date and price - 2 May 2024 | £10.49
Gareth Brierley
Gareth Brierleyhttp://www.garethbrierley.co.uk
I am an actor and a writer. I act quite a bit on stage, a little bit on tv and never on tuesdays. I have had some of my writing published and have written for TV and stage. I have been playing games since they begun and don't seem to be getting any better.
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<b>Pros:</b> <ul> <li>Combat mechanics</li> <li>Lovely visuals</li> <li>A haunting soundtrack</li> </ul> <b>Cons:</b> <ul> <li>A bit too challenging</li> </ul> <b>Info:</b> <ul> <li>Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, JanduSoft</li> <li>Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), Xbox One, PS5, PS4 <li>Release date and price - 2 May 2024 | £10.49</li> </ul>Candle Knight Review
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