App Reviewed on: iPad Pro
User Interface Rating:
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Candleman is the sort of game you should go into blind and with little expectation, only so the experience can be that much greater.Despite how little time your candle gets to burn, this game is full of light and rich moments that make it an experience you simply can’t miss.
The Candleman can
Candleman is a curious 3D platform puzzler where you have to work from one side of the level to the other, hopping over a series of obstacles and solving the occasional puzzle.
That sounds simple enough, but the environment is mostly pitch-black and when you light up your flame you can only burn collectively for ten seconds. The more you light the wick, the more your little candle body melts away.
It’s not all doom and gloom, though. Along the way there are a number of candles to light with your flame. These act as collectibles, more permanent light sources, and checkpoints for some of them.
One thing that I thought was particularly cool when playing is that the candles dotted about the level burn in real-time when you light them. This means if you’re using the candle as another light source, you can’t just faff about like you’ve got all the time in the world.
The further you get into the game, the more you have to think about where and how to use your light source. Though it’s a life saver at times, in some areas it makes deadly, barbarous flowers bloom in the blink of an eye.
Both the music and visuals are an absolute joy to experience. Though they’re simple, they’re complimentary and fitting to make you more immersed in the game. Pair that with the short-but-sweet narrative which reads like a storybook at the beginning of each chapter, and we’re feeling all warm and fuzzy.
Light also plays an excellent and important role. Not only is the wash of light from your candle flame atmospheric, light also acts as a guide as you hunt out the unlit candles and work your way to the end.
In the wick of time
Where Candleman falls short is in its controls. They’re simple, sure, but also a little over-sensitive when it comes to moving and lighting your flame. You wiggle your finger around on the left side of the screen to move, and swipe up to jump and tap/hold to light your flame on the right side.
There are also a couple of sequences that are a little frustrating. Checkpoints aren’t particularly packed together which, given the shortness of the levels, is a good thing, but there’s one challenge earlier on where one was sorely needed.
It may be short, but Candleman is utterly charming and a wonderful experience to have. It’s a beautiful game and holds a special kind of magic itself to captivate and enthral you, despite its occasional hiccup.