Candleman | PS4 Review
Updated: Nov 19, 2021
Candleman, developed and published by Candleman Games, is a platform puzzle game where you take on the role of a candle, alone in a dark ship trying to make it to a lighthouse far in the distance. Candleman is available on Windows PC, PlayStation, XBox, Apple, Android, and Nintendo Switch. For the purpose of my review I was playing the PlayStation 4 version.
As mentioned, you play as a candle which I found really cute. Your aim is to navigate through the various levels filled with obstacles and traps that you need to figure out how to get past safely. Along the way there are candles to light up, some are easy to access along your path and others will require a little bit of figuring out and your overall aim is to reach a lighthouse that you see in the distance. The general design of the levels is quite dark so you'll quite often be the only light to help you stay on track. You can't simply walk around everywhere with your flame burning otherwise you'll burn out and die and have to start the level again so you need to use your flame tactically which adds an extra level of challenge to the game, particularly in the later levels of the game. Despite the darkness and gloom described, Candleman does a fantastic job graphically. The visuals are really stunning and the levels all felt very unique despite the consistently dark backdrop which I feel given the darkness was quite a feat from the designers to be able to incorporate so much beauty into every corner of a dimly lit area.
The gameplay was fairly easy with minimal controls required. The platforming was the stereotypical, fairly simple style where you need to jump from platforms, dodge fire, and avoid spiky plants that will kill you, but I think what made this game shine gameplay wise was the added challenge of the darkness and the use of your flame. However minimal and defenseless it feels that you are, there is actually quite a significant amount that you're able to manipulate and change just as a simple candle.
Candleman came as a massive surprise to me with how much I enjoyed it. I found it so chilled out and relaxed that I constantly found myself pushing for one more level. The increase in difficulty throughout was very steady and certainly required understanding the mechanics of how your flame works, but the overall gameplay wasn't terribly challenging which really allowed me to appreciate the storyline and the beautiful areas that Candleman provided for us. Despite its simplicity, Candleman never got stale for me and left me wanting to finish it and really absorb this beautiful game. At some points, the levels felt quite random - I couldn't really figure out how I went from being in an abandoned, dark ship to then be in a beautiful magical forest, yet despite this lack of understanding the levels still felt like they fit well within the story's narrative.
Overall, I really enjoyed Candleman and appreciated the story of self-acceptance and realising not everyone is made to be a "lighthouse" and simply being content with being a "candle" and recognising the value of yourself no matter what. The puzzles were simple, the design was stunning and I would recommend it to anyone who is a fan of puzzle platform games and is looking for something a little bit different from the norm. It's not a terribly long game but I found myself lost in Candleman for around 6 hours before I finished and for a platform game that felt fairly decent length wise. With a very minimal amount of controls and no serious challenge, I could recommend this game to anyone of any skill level or age and it would really be a great addition to any game collection in my opinion!
Lj's Rating: 4.5 Yankee candles out of 5.
For more information on Candleman please use the following links...
Many thanks to Candleman Games for the Review Key.