Sparklite Hands-On Preview
There’s something to be said for the simple nature and healthy challenge of classic, old school games, and sometimes it feels incredibly good to feel whisked back to those days. In a hands-on preview with Merge Games last week, I got the chance to sample Sparklite, an upcoming indie title that’s bound to intrigue anyone with a soft spot for old school games.
Sparklite is a top-down, action-adventure game following a brilliant engineer named Ada on her quest against evil in the world of Geodia. The basic premise is that a life force called Sparklite is being mined copiously by an antagonist called the Baron, who aims to use Sparklite to carry out his own evil plans. Ada must engineer different weapons and gadgets in order to make her way through the ever-changing world and stop the Baron before it’s too late.
Brimming With Charm
The game showcases its charming and colorful pixelated art style and simple mechanics in a fashion reminiscent of old school games such as The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. The world is procedurally generated, so every time you descend from your floating home base the entire map shifts and changes below you, adding an exciting element of surprise to the open exploration.
Enemies attack in designated patterns, and there are tons of upgrades that can be made to your base, gear and gadgets. While the combat mechanics are very simple and consist of mostly attacking and dashing away, the array of different weapons and gadgets seem like more than enough to keep you engaged.
In my brief playthrough of Sparklite, I found myself immediately addicted and intrigued. I found the world to be absorbing and adorable, and the gameplay to be simple enough to pick up but challenging enough to pull you in attempt after attempt. The story seems to be tied in seamlessly rather than cast aside as an afterthought, and early on in the game you can unlock local, assistive co-op — a feature I can’t wait to take advantage of when the game releases.
Overall, Sparklite caught my attention and I can’t wait to play through the game in its entirety. While it seems easy enough to define Sparklite as a “Zelda-inspired rougelike,” it definitely has its own special identity and charm that I can’t wait to discover in more depth.