Candleman came out last year on the Xbox One only, and you’d be forgiven if you never heard of it. Indie, quirky, 3D platformers are not always the most talked-about things on systems that skew towards shooters and action games. But if you missed out on Candleman there, you may want to check it out now that it’s landed on Steam. This little guy is all about being a light in the darkness, with some truly great physics and puzzles. This is our Candleman PC review.
Candleman, appropriately developed by Spotlightor Interactive, is a really addictive little game. There are 9 worlds to play through, each one more devious and mysterious than the last, as your little Candleman seeks the light. The trick? It’s very dark most of the time, and you only have ten seconds of light you can burn. There are candles, sort of your “coins” if you want to equate it to Mario, across each level. You light those, and they become your checkpoints if you fall. And if you fall, your total seconds of burning light goes down too.
That’s really all there is to the learning curve. Use light sparingly, find and light as many checkpoint candles as you can, and watch where you’re jumping. It’s brilliant, simple, and fun to watch as a viewer too. There’s something hilarious about watching my wife and four-year-old son holler when they miss a jump by an inch. Or if they run out of light and have to navigate the rest of a level blind in the dark.
Graphically, Candleman is gorgeous. The game goes for a photo-realism look, but still somehow stylized. Like an exquisite blend of Pixar and real-world visuals. Lighting is used, as expected, beautifully to highlight, contour, and hide and expose the levels as you play through them. My favorite may be the one filled with bioluminescent plantlife, breathing and undulated, but dangerous and spike-ridden as you walk through. It’s a whole world that breathes with light, and if you’re not careful, the lights go out right when you need them.
Candleman isn’t a long game. It’s 9 worlds can be beaten in a few hours at most, but there is some replay value in trying to light every candle. Still, it’s worth the experience if you’re in the mood for a lush, fantastical, fairytale sort of adventure. It’s not stressful, though some levels may make you a little tense. For $15, there’s not a whole lot better value for your dollar.
Final Candleman PC Review Score – 8/10
- Great level design
- Fantastic light/puzzle mechanic
- Beautiful sound and visuals
- Low replay value
- On the short end