C is for Child of Light

I play games for lots of different reasons. Sometimes I play to be challenged by puzzles and stretch my brain overcoming them. Other times I play to experience an engrossing story with compelling characters. Still other games are worth playing if only because they’re very very pretty. Child of Light is definitely one of the pretty ones.

You play as Aurora, a ‘faux’ princess trying to return to her parents, while also bringing the light of the sun, moon, and stars back to the land of Lemuria. You’re accompanied by a glowing fairy named Igniculus and you meet several other companions along the way who join your party.

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The overworld is gorgeous, and the music creates a pleasant atmosphere while exploring between battles. Enemy encounters are not random; you can see the baddies and choose when and how to start the battle. Depending on how you run into them, you can start the battle with a bonus or a penalty. If you sneak up behind them, you get to act first. On the flip side, if they come at you from behind, they have the drop on you, so to speak, and can hit you first.

Battles in Child of Light are turn-based, but with a twist. At the bottom of the battle screen, there is a bar with icons representing each character. Friend and foe alike have a timer before they can select an action, and then another, usually shorter timer before that action happens. Different actions have different casting durations. There’s some strategy around which actions to choose, depending on where your enemies icons are located on the action bar. If you get hit while casting, you’re interrupted and set back on the action bar. Likewise, you can interrupt your enemies. If you sequence it correctly, and your character is fast enough, you can actually prevent enemies from doing anything while you beat up on them.

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Your glowing companion Igniculus can also help in battle. If you hover over an enemy, you can slow them down. Alternatively, you can hover over an ally to heal slowly. He can also maneuver around to collect glowing orbs that restore health, magic, and his own power meter.

Overall, I enjoyed Child of Light, with the exception of two minor niggles. One is that there isn’t a way to modify your battle twosome outside of the battle screen itself. You can manage the stats and upgrades to your party, but you can’t change which two are going into battle. My second complaint is with the dialogue itself. I think it was a charming idea to have everything written in verse, and it did lead to a moderately funny running joke where one character can’t seem to rhyme at all, but most of it was just forced.

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All in all, I say go for it. If you’re a fan of RPG-lite mechanics and gorgeous visuals, you’ll love it. See you next time!

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