Once Upon a Time: Child of Light

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Child of Light

Child of Light is a twist on a very classic method of storytelling: the fairytale. With a storyline that seems familiar, and yet different enough to stay engaged, the narrative arc of this game is one that is as broad-sweeping as the tales from our childhood. This is a coming of age story, where our protagonist Aurora learns her life lessons through an epic journey. At first, she strives to go home to the familiar and safe. As the story progresses, she makes hard decisions and grows, mentally and physically. Aurora has her trials and finds friends in he most unlikely of places.

Child of Light is a game for one or two players. Player one takes on the role of Aurora, the princess far flung from her family and home. If there is a second player, they take on the role of Igniculus, a spirit of light (‘firefly’). This co-op mechanic allows one player to control the heroine, and the other to shine the way and help get to places that the heroine cannot travel alone. Without the second player, a singular player must control both Aurora and Igniculus.

Ubisoft Montreal developed this piece, and it was published by Ubisoft. Released in early 2014 , Child of Light can be played on Windows, PS3, PS4, PS Vita, Wii U, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.

Aurora and Igniculus
Child of Light is a journey of self-discovery through the guise of a fairy tale.

Visually and musically, Child of Light is spectacular. Artistically, the game is composed of art that emulates stylistic watercolors. The vibrant colors draw the player into this immersive game. The original breathtaking soundtrack is by Cœur de pirate, and is worth the money spent on the game all on its own. Pure tones bring you into the sidescrolling expansive world, making the game a place to get lost in for hours. It is certainly background music, lulling and soft until it is time for battle. Then, the pieces have a driving urgency that push you through each turn. With audio and visual effects combined, Child of Light is a fantastic world to navigate.

Watercolor details
Beautiful detailing and multi-layered visual immersion will keep you entranced for hours.


But what about the game itself? The playthrough, as it is, is a sidescrolling wonderland of a turn-based roleplaying game. It is the tiny details that the game shines, such as the protagonist having a hard time holding up a sword as the game opens. Most all of the dialogue is presented in a rhyming couplet format, with very few exceptions. There are many puzzles to contemplate throughout the game, most all of them including some factor of light playing off of another. These are the times that Igniculus is invaluable, beyond his other formidable functions throughout the game.

Puzzle within temple.
A puzzle, you say? One wonders what might be in store.


Leveling up happens through an experience point system, which leads to skill points being earned which can be spent in skill trees. This level of customization allows you to have control over the specialties of Aurora and her friends. Equipment is handled through Oculi, a gem-forging system that allows you to add skills or bonuses to each character.

Skill tree
Skills are acquired through a skill tree, even if you are a jester.

The plot itself is fairly linear, with a main storyline that branches off into several sidequests. Aurora finds unlikely allies through the story, a few that are willing to help her and supply skills that our heroine lacks on her own.

Child of Light is a delightful romp through what seems to be a simplistic, familiar story. The amount of time and dedication placed on the smallest of details in this beautifully rendered game makes it well worth a whirl of play. Be prepared to be sucked into the beautiful world that opens up as playing begins.


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