“Flood of Light” is a side-scrolling puzzle platformer developed by Irisloft, and originally released on Steam June 15, 2017. The main premise of the game is that a city is completely under water and the robots that were left there by the humans need to be saved. You play the heroine, a young girl called The Guide, who uses her ability to control light to save these robots. You do this by solving increasingly difficult puzzles to get light to the beacons called Monoliths that somehow make the water level go down. These puzzles are on each floor of an eight-story building, and you access these floors from the rooftop “base” that has the main doors to the building’s elevator.
The story is rather unique, but very hard to follow. Unfortunately the translation is done poorly so I couldn’t understand what they were trying to say half the time. I gave up trying to follow it after the first few robots I talked to and emails left on computers.
As The Guide you go around absorbing balls of light from lamps and lanterns and transfer them to other points. You’ll need to balance the number of lights you’re holding with the spots that need to be used. Each level has multiple sliding doors, elevators and other devices blocking your path that require power supplied by the light to operate. These puzzles were pretty interesting, but became tedious and repetitive within the first few levels. The levels started out extremely easy, became a little more difficult with each level but didn’t really become challenging until more than halfway through the game. There are new mechanics added throughout, but nothing very significant until later on.
The artistic style used in the game is excellent. With a predominant Japanese feel it is a very beautiful world, but it is also terribly depressing. The gloomy darkness, with a perpetual rain creates an atmosphere Edgar Allan Poe would be proud to call his own.
When I first started the game I thought the soft piano set the somber mood of the game well. However, after about five minutes I noticed that there is only a small amount of music that is just being played on repeat. After the last update there does appear to be more variety in the music, but it is still too melancholy for me. There’s also an issue where the music becomes extremely distorted when on the rooftop “hub.” It’s bad enough that I won’t spend one more second than necessary there. I eventually turned the music off, and that helped the game considerably.
The controls are explained well except that they don’t mention the motion controls for the cursor. The motion controls work when you’re purposely using them, but when trying to use the analog stick any movement of the pro-controller will take it off target. This made me send light to the wrong spot on more than a few occasions. Also, when using the analog stick to move the cursor I go slowly but it won’t even budge until the stick is moved about half it’s full range. At that point it shoots across the screen at hyper-speed. I have not found a place to change the movement sensitivity or even to turn off the motion controls.
Although it isn’t a very long game (it can probably be completed in a few hours) I could not finish it. When I was playing it I could only last 15-20 minutes before I needed a break because it felt too much like work to me. I still tried pushing through, and got about 60-70% complete before I couldn’t stand to play any more. It does appear that some of the issues with the game might be due to a bad job of porting it from PC to the Switch.
With the bad translation, tedious puzzles, depressing atmosphere, poor controls and terrible music I can easily say this is the worst game I’ve played all year. The only reason it’s getting one star is because of the visuals, the game’s only redeeming quality.
If you still want to play this game because of the artistic style, I would highly recommend getting it on Steam since it appears to be much better on PC.