Projection: First Light is not a game that would normally be my go to but I’m so glad I did get to play!
As a casual gamer, and I mean very very casual gamer with a busy life as a Father, husband, provider & hunter gatherer (in-game mostly), it was nice to sit down and play a chilled game. Good 2D platformers are a dime a dozen and this is a title that is one that I believe helps that cause. Projection: First Light is simple, basic, minimal but brilliant in its gameplay. Publisher Blowfish Studios and developers Shadowplay Studios and Sweaty Chair Studio have shed light on the 2D platform genre by creating this adventure & bringing on a new light.
You follow and control a little girl Greta as she gets into trouble, runs away and starts her own adventure. All this starts out as she chases a butterfly and causes chaos among her home town. The butterflies play a big part as you continue through the game as they feed your light source. Greta is a shadow puppet in a big shadow world stretching and alighting her travels through Indonesia, China, Turkey, Greece, and 19th Century England.
Your light source is a warm ball of light you control as you move Greta from point A to point B. Don’t let this fool you though as it’s not always as simple as that! Depending where you place the light determines where you can/can’t move, jump or pick up items to cast shadows against. While this isn’t a brain struggling task, it is enough to make you think a little to help Greta continue and progress through each section of each world. With levers, switches, lanterns, paper walls & even a boss here and there, it’s a nice little shake up and keeps it fresh enough to not get bored.
The idea of using the light source to create pathways is ingenious. The art design is beautiful and really sets off the light box/diorama showing the depth of the landscape. As you travel from region to region and country to country, each is tailored to the forests and architectures of where Greta is. The game is solely hinged on the light source that Greta travels with/controls and the creators have made the lighting effects flawless throughout the whole game which is a massive credit to them.
As it’s a speechless game you really hear and see the game as you play, with almost meditation-like score’s well-suited to each setting/country you move through. When playing for the first time, my 6-year old son sat and watched and even had a play through a couple of sections. Even he could understand what was happening within the storyline. I guess with him currently learning about Indonesia at school, he was intrigued with the shadow puppets and was glued to the screen to see the story come to life.
Projection: First Light is not a game that would normally be my go to but I’m so glad I did get to play! I’ve not previously seen another game that uses the styles or clever gameplay to navigate the protagonist, but it’s an incredible execution. This is a subtle and beautiful 2D platformer to which fans of the genre, along with the puzzles and artistic pieces, will love to play. I know I did – It was incredible!
Written by: KaiZscherpel