The self-publishing team known as Embers has developed a light-hearted action-adventure game called Strayed Lights. This game was released back in April of this year. If you want to check it out for yourself, then it’s available on Steam, GOG, Epic, Switch, PlayStation and Xbox for £20.99
Hope burns bright.
I’d seen a couple of screenshots of Strayed Light back in May but didn’t understand what the story was about. However, the combat looked interesting. When I read that one of the tags for the game was soul-like, it piqued my interest further. Let’s jump in and check out what this new Indie game offers; hopefully, this little flame will have a bright future. Let me know in the comments below what your thought about Strayed Lights.
In Strayed Lights, you play as a being of light born just moments ago and now must journey forward into a dark world. There isn’t any dialogue or text, so figuring out the story was rather tricky. All I managed to grasp was that you are saving other beings of light that are your siblings while occasionally fighting off a shadow that wants your heart or brain.
The combat in Strayed Lights centres around parrying, demonstrated during the first encounter. Players will perform parries to fill a bar at the bottom of the screen; this will then activate a burst of energy and ends the fight, leading to a quick-time event. Parrying in the game isn’t the only mechanic players must do (that would be easy). They’ll have to switch between two colours, red and blue, to block enemies more efficiently.
New abilities and healing.
There’s a small skill tree in Strayed Lights for players to improve their chances in battle. Three skills are available to buy with a unique stone that they get after beating each boss. One skill is called Shock and can stun bosses temporarily. Another move known as Lunge has the hero launch at an enemy knocking them to the ground. Finally, and in my opinion, the best skill is Balance since it lets the player block both colours. Making most of the early boss fights much simpler.
Players can level up passive traits such as health and unlock a counter-attack. To buy the passives, you’ll need to find small floating orbs. They are found throughout the levels whilst heading to a boss arena. When it comes to healing, the only way to do it is by parrying with the same colour. If you don’t use the same colour, you will still negate the damage but won’t get healed.
Graphics & Audio
The graphics in Strayed Lights were decent overall. The blue, orange and red colours on your siblings and character contrasted nicely with the black shadowing on their bodies. I also enjoyed the designs of the bosses and a few of the siblings, such as one who was sinewy but had elongated pointy ears and horns or a massive buff one with four arms. While the visuals are pretty, the environment’s palette of magenta, blue and purple gets a little old and samey after a while. The graphics are good, and the way crystals and various things glow against the dark backgrounds look nice, but nothing knocked my socks off, either.
The absence of dialogue in the game leads to a lot of confusion. If it weren’t for the Steam achievements that popped up in the corner, I wouldn’t have guessed who the other characters were or what was happening. I can appreciate a game leaving things down to interpretation, but in this one, I felt a little lost as to what was happening and why.
Strayed Lights took me three and a half hours to finish. There are some collectables, such as purple eggs to find that will unlock some photos. These give more to the story, but I found them quite quickly. A trial mode is available for players who want more to the game.
I found Strayed Lights too quick to finish and with little content. The lack of dialogue or notes ruins what could’ve been an interesting story. The combat and bosses were fun, apart from the final boss since its attack let up. The combat left me wanting more due to the mid-fight cutscenes looking great with how the hero copies the power but sadly doesn’t keep it. Asking for £20.99 seems too steep for what the game offers, but what is here does give some enjoyment. In the end, the game felt more like a blur than anything. The game could serve by adding more variety in combat so that players aren’t always on the defence since attacking doesn’t do much damage.
I give Strayed Lights the Thumb Cultures Silver Award.
If you enjoyed this review then check out Iain’s PS5 Review for Park Beyond.
Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.