Currently Greenlit on Steam and gathering funds on Kickstarter, Light Fall is a new platformer from Bishop Games. This 3-man team plus voice actor and composer hails from Quebec and excited a lot of people at PAX last year when they unveiled this intriguing indie title. While the art alone should catch your eye, we’re sure that you’ll stay for the gameplay.
Light Fall is platforming with a twist. The Shadow Core, an ancient artifact, can be used in a variety of ways to help you on your journey through Numbra. It can be summoned mid-jump as an extra platform, set up as a wall to jump off, or used as a shield to stop lasers and other obstacles. It’s sort of like a mix between playing as the wizard in Trine, and Mario. What’s so innovative though is how summoning this artifact allows for diverse playstyles and strategies.
We currently only have a preview build of what seems to be the beginning of the game, but having played through it a few times now it’s clear: you can tackle challenges very differently every time. The more you use the Shadow Core, the more you start to experiment and use it in different ways. It’s a mechanic that teaches itself, and that’s great design. From what we’ve seen of the levels and the way Light Fall controls, it’s clear that the developers know what they’re doing.
“It’s hard to find anything bad with a vertical slice of the game like this, but the important parts of the design seem to be nailed down.”
Aside from fun mechanics and responsive controls, Light Fall features an enticing art style as well. Using silhouettes like Limbo, the protagonist and his enemies are set against a colourful backdrop that uses a nice mix of foreground, midground, and background that brings the world of Numbra to life. So far in the build the environments are mostly shades of purple and blue, but a screenshot from the Kickstarter page shows off the Marshlands of Sorrow which follows a more earthy tone. Hopefully the finished product has a good amount of variety, though even just a few other changes of scenery would look fantastic.
It’s hard to find anything bad with a vertical slice of the game like this, but the important parts of the design seem to be nailed down. The only thing that could be a real problem is a lack of content overall or repetitive level design. Even with the Shadow Core allowing for multiple playstyles, the same obstacles and enemies get boring quickly. Bishop has a lot of older competition when it comes to platformers, and it’s a genre that has a constant stream of titles so they’ll need to really stand out against the competition. What’s been shown so far has been great; hopefully they’ll be able to give a better glimpse if they get the funding they’re looking for.
In just one day, Bishop Games has received about a quarter of their $20,000 goal. That’s pretty impressive for a relatively unknown studio’s first day but it’s not unheard of to see that train lose steam. Many hopeful projects fall just shy of their mark, even if it’s as small as twenty grand. Admittedly, I like what I’ve seen and played a lot, and have donated to the cause. If they can hit their stretch goals, then you can expect to see Light Fall on current gen consoles as well as PC. While it’s still way too early to tell for sure, Light Fall has made some great impressions and is going to turn more heads the next time Bishop has more info to release.
***A preview code was provided by the Publisher***