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Night Lights Review


Light is mostly seen as a source of good in games. It is sometimes used in a magical way, infusing weapons with some buffs which bring forth powerful blasts of light to vanquish enemies. Other times it is used as a survival mechanism – a simple torch to help you guide through a haunted house, as you attempt to survive in the darkness. The general allegory of good versus evil can’t be denied. In Night Lights the key for you is to move through this platforming adventure, all while controlling the light to your advantage. Are we ready for some Night Lights?

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This is an intriguing and delightful little 2D platformer that examines the notion of puzzle-solving and platforming over 50 levels or so. The story involves a little cube of a robot; a little guy who I think is stranded on a very dark planet. He needs to develop his skills and then use the light to get out. That’s the story in a nutshell, and it’s all the game needs really because the rest of it is all about the gameplay. 

Developed by Meridian4 and published by the highly prolific Ratalaika Games, Night Lights comes to market at a brilliantly low price, and it’s able to offer up a pretty decent experience for that level.

You are presented with four zones to explore and in each level you will come across some platforms, triggers, and things to collect. The main source of power revolves around the need to grab crystals; invaluable in starting the machine that will unlock other areas or open portals that will take you to new levels. 

To move around the levels the little robot at first can jump a small way and interact with levels or machines to operate. There are electrically powered things to collect as well and from the beginning you will notice that these are in quite hard-to-reach areas, well beyond your skills at the onset. But once you start to make progress you will get extra abilities like an extra jump, a dash, and sprint. Night Lights then opens up. 

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The main gameplay dynamic that makes this a different experience from the rest is how you manipulate the light sources around you. Certain lights can do specific things and a few are quite different. For instance, by moving a certain lamp you can open up new pathways or destroy other avenues so you can get through. Other lamps will activate objects so you can move forward on your quest. Once again it is hard to describe but is completely simple when you play it.

Night Lights is a great puzzle adventurer that is quite relaxing to play; it certainly gives you a great feeling when you solve something. You can play this at your own speed without fear of death, trying out different possibilities to your heart’s content. It’s challenging at times, without being mind-numbingly difficult and each zone will see you traversing several levels, going back and forth to find the solutions over these rather than running a straight linear route. It’s a system that I found hard to fathom first of all but it becomes quite enjoyable the more you get used to it.  

The artwork and visuals employ a fantastic monochrome effect in all its levels, and it is this which is able to provide an interesting and scary planet. But what the game does with the lighting effects is also create a warm colour palette, thus giving it a pleasant and interesting contrast. The environments in all the zones are well designed and you’ll grow to love your little robot buddy and his cubed features. The soundscore is atmospheric throughout too, with almost a sort of choral drone that works effectively with the game throughout. 

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I’ve liked the way Night Lights manages to tell a very simple story over a few hours. That’s complemented well with the use and manipulation of light and the need for a bit of clever puzzle solving. The visual template is nice as well with its use of colour and 2D artistry. But best of all? Night Lights is very cheap and this means it’s worth taking a gamble, particularly if you fancy something brain-teasing. 

In all, Night Lights is a pleasant diversion from the usual games you’ll play. 

Night Lights is available from the Xbox Store

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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