From developer Teku Studios and publisher Merge Games comes Candle: The Power of the Flame, the beautifully rendered puzzle platformer that constantly has you working through a variety of challenging puzzles and environments on your journey to return order to your village.
The evil tribe of the Wakcha has captured your shaman! It is up to Teku, a gifted villager who has the power to harness the light of a candle, to embark on this magical journey to rescue the shaman and return your village back to normal!
I had two initial thoughts upon firing up the game. The first was that I knew I would never be able to get used to the speed at which Teku moves (it’s incredibly slow…) and the second was that you my character would be covering the same locations more than once a lot in this game. One of the first things you do is go back and forth across the landscape of your burning village to familiarize yourself with the controls and also uncover some semblance of what is going on, before ultimately discovering the solution was right near the beginning all along. While the former of these two frustrations is really just a preference thing, the latter was something that I really feel took away from what could have been a more enjoyable gameplay experience.
Throw on top of this monotonous experience the fact that the game is actually quite difficult and you’re destined to be continually frustrated. The difficulty doesn’t just come from the incredibly nuanced design of the game but also from the clunky controls you have to overcome in order to complete anything. The design elements of the game certainly create a world that is incredibly pleasing to look at and easy to lose yourself in, but if you fail to constantly pay attention, you’ll miss the finer details that are required to move on and you’ll end up re-exploring the same old landscapes to uncover the clues you missed or collect the essential items to progress further.
While the gameplay proved to be more frustrating than not for me, one thing about this game is undeniable: it is absolutely gorgeous to experience. The unique water color art style and colorful contrast is truly some of my favorite on the Nintendo Switch, and this level of polish is something that I really do appreciate when I’m playing games. Additionally, the soundtrack draws upon rhythms and ideas not traditionally heard in western music and the pairing of these stunning visuals and engaging soundtrack make for one of the few true bright spots in this game.
With a game that has some truly magnificent art direction and graphical design, the frustrations of Candle: The Power of the Flame are just too glaring to ignore. Clunky controls and a gameplay experience that feels redundant and full of backtracking take away from the gorgeous visual elements that really had the potential to set this game apart. With a digital download price of $19.99, and the dreaded “Switch Tax” increasing that price to $29.99 on the upcoming physical release, I simply cannot recommend this game for the price and have to label this one a Nintendon’t.
Platform – Nintendo Switch eShop Download & Physical Cartridge (October 16th)
Publisher – Merge Games
Developer – Teku Studios
Price – $19.99 (Digital) & $29.99 (Amazon)
Genre – Platformer, Adventure, Puzzle
Size – 3.7 GB
A native of Minnesota, Brandon has been an avid Nintendo fan for as long as he can remember and enjoys being able to escape into the vast worlds offered in their games. Some of his favorite games include: Pokemon Blue & Silver, Earthbound, The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Risk of Rain 2, and of course LoZ: Breath of the Wild.
Outside of gaming Brandon enjoys riding motorcycle, listening to music or podcasts, cooking, watching movies, and is a big sports fan. He is always carrying his Switch with him wherever he goes, so feel free to add him if you’d like to lose at MK8D.