We love a good Puzzler here at PSGamer and I was delighted to hear that I would be given the task of reviewing SUTD Game Lab’s One Upon Light. You take control of a scientist as he makes his way, through what seems like an abandoned lab, after an experiment goes a little awry. Each level requires you to make it across the lab to a piece of paper which will give you a slither of insight into what has happened in the lab,which,along with a few cut scenes make up the scope of the storyline.
One Upon Light is all about light and dark, with all the puzzles revolving the switching on and turning off of light to create shadows in order to progress through the level. Interestingly it is the light which harms you, and your scientist must keep to the shadows if he is to succeed. These shadows can be created in many forms whether it be pushing boxes in front of lights, sending them on conveyor belts so that you can follow the shadow as it passes over, allowing you to proceed or indeed simply switching the lights off. As you progress through the game you earn upgrades which will aid you in solving certain puzzles. The first upgrade is a machine which allows you to freeze a moving shadow in place, allowing access to otherwise in accessible areas.
The puzzles themselves are quite ingenious without ever being unfair or too mind boggling, understanding what you have to do only requires a little common sense and a rudimentary knowledge of the laws of physics and you have a real sense of accomplishment by completing a level. However as fun as One Upon Light is to play, I found it to be far too short and was left gasping for more, a full play through will only take on average 3 hours and it is hard to recommend the game as good value for its £9.49 price tag.
Graphically, One Upon Light is very simple and this lends itself well to the premise of the game, the use of light and dark is done brilliantly and the monochrome aesthetic is suitably mysterious and gives an almost Film Noir feel to proceedings. Sound wise there is not much to talk about, there is an absence of a backing track with only a few sound effects to break the silence, however, much like the monochrome graphical style, this lends itself well to the aesthetic of the game.
One Upon Light is one of a number of independent releases which are a reminder of the halcyon days of the bedroom coder, it seems once again anybody with a little knowledge and the desire can produce exciting and interesting games. SUTD Game Lab have created an effective puzzle game, which although on the short side, is a lot of fun to play. There are a lot of good ideas and I for one am looking forward to what the producers of the game, have next up their collective sleeves.