Bring a little light into your life with Candleman: The Complete Journey from Chinese developer Spotlightor.
In Candleman, you play as a spunky but miniscule candle that can ignite itself yet only stays lit for about 10 seconds before all its wax burns away and is extinguished. Upon noticing a massive and powerful lighthouse in the distance, our protagonist becomes fascinated with it and begins a quest to find out more about this mysterious source of light. Along with a few narrated cutscenes, the story is told via the level names which are made up of small passages with additional lines revealed after you light all the possible candles in a level then complete it.
Candleman: The Complete Journey is a 3D puzzle platformer with a fixed camera that will auto-adjust as you advance to new sections in a level. Each stage is filled with traps and hazards that aim to put out our little candle hero. There are also a few simple puzzles that you must solve to proceed to the exit portal as well as a handful of unlit candles that serve as Candleman's only collectibles. The optional candles bring a bit more challenge to the campaign as some are sneakily hidden or intentionally obscured by the static camera but some additional exploration on a second playthrough of a level should be enough for you to find them all.
The contrast of light and dark is Candleman's best feature and the lighting effects are rather impressive. The light you emit also has major effects on the world as it blooms flowers, sets off fireworks, scares enemies, and more. You may only have 10 seconds or so of light before you die but you are given a very generous 10 lives per stage so most levels are easily beatable on your first try.
Candleman: The Complete Journey is a serene and enjoyable experience but your movement speed can be excruciatingly slow at times. There's no run button so you're left to slowly meander through each level which is especially obnoxious on repeat playthroughs. The campaign also gradually wears out its welcome by being slightly too long and not introducing enough mechanical changes to keep things interesting. While there are a few new environmental features as you progress between chapters, you don't actually learn any new abilities that could have helped the gameplay stay fresh a little longer.
While far from challenging, Candleman: The Complete Journey is a pleasant and visually pleasing experience. However, it's a bit too long and simply doesn't do enough to stay interesting from start to finish.
- + Nice visuals and great lighting effects
- + Using the candle's light to affect the environment is clever and well done
- + Great for casual play and novice gamers
- - Slow movement speed becomes grating
- - Campaign is a little bit too long and eventually starts to wear out its welcome
- - Not enough gameplay mechanics