“Child of Light” review

While many games for under $30 can’t boast such beauty and complexity as “Child of Light,” Ubisoft’s latest creation has seemingly captured fans and critics alike with its combat system and picturesque visuals.

Our young heroine, Aurora, is trapped in a strange new world after falling into some sort of coma or death-like sleep in the real world. Rhyming her way through adventure and darkness, she is aided by companions who all have need of someone’s help.

“Child of Light” isn’t your ordinary role-playing game, or even a Japanese role-playing game for that matter. A turn-based combat system that utilizes timing, interruptions and a seamless party transition mechanic isn’t something that many games can boast. Nor can they say that they have a hauntingly beautiful score or graphics that remind you of a kid’s storybook.

With all of this beauty, there is some really solid stuff to this game. The combat is definitely fun and strategic. Players will find themselves thinking hard about their characters’ speed of attack versus their opponents’ casting times to find the perfect time to interrupt their enemy. Obviously, there are weaknesses to certain elements, with power-ups and buffs that your party can distribute to make you stronger or even cast faster to do more hits.

Igniculus is really useful in a tight spot during tough combat.

Really, though, you’re not playing “Child of Light” properly if you’re not playing with a friend.

Igniculus, the firefly companion of Aurora acts much like Murphy from “Rayman: Legends.” He flies about interacting with the environment to heal Aurora or recharge her magic energy for fights to come. He can also stun enemies to ensure that Aurora and her party attack first. There are also small puzzles that only Igniculus can solve that lead to some good loot for the party.

Aurora’s sidekick is also used in combat. He can slow an enemy’s casting time, find items that will heal the party  and use his light to heal over time if your characters are in a tight spot. Without a second player, this is a lot of micromanagement to be thinking about during a fight. It’s not so much that it’s impossible, but it’s distracting enough that it would add an extra layer of difficulty to the already strategic gameplay system. Playing with a friend is rewarding and makes you feel like you’re both invested in the experience and that they’re truly helping you win.

The items found in the game include potions that heal the party or increase their speed and small gems. The gems can be combined to craft larger or more advanced versions, which can be socketed on each party member to give boosts. While this is nothing new to an RPG, it does add a nice bit of flavor making sure that you have the right gems for the right characters in the right situations.

Platforming in the game is somewhat simple. Pushing boxes and jumping puzzles abound in the first few minutes, but once your character learns to fly things become remarkably easier. Almost too easy. You may find yourself able to avoid many of the enemies on the ground. There are many hidden items to find though, so while you may breeze through the levels, you’ll be backtracking to find the loot.

“Child of Light” is a fun, refreshing game that is melancholy and sad, but still fun and entertaining. With a beautiful score and eye-catching visuals, it will stay fresh in a gamer’s mind. The combat is fun and will keep players entertained, while the co-op is something to surprise and delight. For $15, this game is exactly worth it’s price tag. It’s not ground breaking or highly sophisticated, but it’s worth the play for any RPG fan. Just…be prepared for a lot of rhyming.

Wide gaps that you couldn’t jump are no match for your flight.