Candleman has finally landed on the PS4! It’s an interesting platformer in which you’ll spend most of your time in complete darkness. Find out if it has what it takes to light up your interest in our Candleman: The Complete Journey review!
The story of Candleman is a simple one, yet it is more than enough to take you on this journey. You are a candle, a small one, so you can only have your light burning for about 10 seconds before your wax (and life) is over. Your sole goal will be to go out there seeking light, facing the many obstacles you’ll encounter, with the most important one being darkness.
To do this, you’ll be going through 12 chapters (each split into 3 to 4 levels), exploring a distinct theme for each of said chapters, and most of the times with new gameplay elements being introduced as you go. Each level plays out the same way: you have to get to the end of the level in typical 3D platforming fashion, but you can see almost nothing because there is no light! Your only option to be is to light yourself up. But with only 10 seconds of burn time, you can’t keep the light on all the time, so you have to manage your bursts of light carefully.
What can help you though are the different candles scattered on your path, which you can light up when you come across them. Lighting them up will provide a bit of light in the area and will help you progress a bit further without requiring you to burn yourself up. Those candles also serve as the game’s collectibles, and as you might have guessed, they are attached to a couple of trophies, so you’ll probably want to find them all in each level. Most of them are on your path and don’t require any extra effort to find them, but a couple here and there will demand that you explore a bit further from the main path.
As you progress through each chapter, extra elements will come into play and add a few twists to the platforming, gradually raising the difficulty but without making the platforming feel impossible or unfair. There’ll be things like moving platforms, bursts of air to lift you up to higher places, and things like open fires, which are obviously not good for you!
For a game in which you spend the majority of your time in the dark, this one does look really good. Each chapter has its own unique look and feel, and each burst of light provides you with a look at the levels that are simply beautiful – you know, when you do see them!. The sound is pretty minimalist in the game and helps to engulf you in the lonely atmosphere that the candle you control finds itself in.
If you’re looking for a simple yet incredibly enjoyable platformer, this game is clearly a safe bet. It’s a smooth and relaxing experience in which you won’t be speedrunning around. The darkness of it all makes for something that you’ll take your time, slowly exploring the levels and enjoying them. I did find it sometimes frustrating how I’d end up falling into a hole because I had jumped an inch too early, as the platforming is sometimes pretty tight and doesn’t leave a lot of margin for error. But once you accept that this is part of the game, you will be more careful and enjoy how it plays out. The platforming would probably be too easy if the lights were always on, so the darkness gives just enough of a challenge to be enjoyable without feeling impossible. Since each level is fairly short, and since the hazards differ between each of the 12 chapters, the game never becomes repetitive, and has a nice length of about 6-7 hours.
As for the trophies, this should be an easy platinum to add to everyone’s list. About half of the trophies are awarded for completing all the chapters, and a bunch are for collecting all the candles in all the levels. All you have to do then is to run out of wax once, and then to complete a level after “dying” five times. Once you’re done all of this, which shouldn’t add more than an extra couple of hours at most depending on how many candles you find during your regular run, then that nice platinum will be yours!
Developer Spotlightor Interactive have created a pretty unique and fun puzzle platformer with Candleman. It’s fun from start to finish and is accessible to gamers of about any level as the difficulty is far from being too challenging. At $20 the price might be a bit steep for its length, but you’ll enjoy every dollar you spent on this one, which is why it’s great that Zodiac Interactive brought this one to the PlayStation 4
This Candleman: The Complete Journey review is based on a PlayStation 4 copy provided by Zodiac Interactive.