Light Fall is a puzzle platformer by Bishop Games. These days the platforming genre has been done to death, resurrected, and killed again, so if you’re going to put out a new one you’d better have a good twist on it. Bishop Games does not disappoint on that front; the twist here is that you carry your own platform with you, which you can use to get over large gaps, block hazards, and even attack enemies. I played a brief demo of Light Fall at PAX East and was impressed by the high speed action, the darkly beautiful world, and - of course - the summonable box that is Bishop Games’s addition to the genre.
Light Fall is very much like Ori and the Blind Forest, both in atmosphere and game play. Intense, difficult sections of platforming are broken up by stretches of sightseeing - which might sound boring, but they’re just long enough to appreciate the beautiful art without dragging on and becoming tedious. However - if I dare to say such a thing - Light Fall might be even better, at least in terms of game play. I can’t speak much to the story, because the demo didn’t go too deeply into it. All I gathered from my brief session was that the gods have gone missing, and you, a young boy with amnesia, are going to do something about it.
|That hand drawn art style is something I'm really glad to see becoming a thing now.|
Now, there’s a reason I specifically said that Light Fall is not a perfect game, and my quibbles with it mostly come down to that decision to have you play yet another character with amnesia. It does allow you to learn about the world as the character does, but it’s also used as an excuse for the narrator to dump exposition on you. I would much rather have the story come out naturally, piece by piece, rather than have an owl who sounds like Deckard Cain explaining who all of the gods are and that they seem to have suddenly disappeared.
I didn’t have much of a chance to explore this, but I also get the sense that skillful use of the box would let you play with sequence-breaking and skipping sections of platforming.However, my issues with the storytelling style aside, Light Fall is a superb platformer. Your character moves quickly and handles well, and the game is challenging without reaching Super Meat Boy levels of rage. Furthermore your character’s box, which you can summon under your feet at any time with the press of a button, almost gives you the illusion of being a frame-perfect speedrunner. As long as you’re moderately good at platforming, that ability allows you to fly through complicated sections at breakneck speed. Your only restriction is that you do have to land on solid ground after using the box four times.
Light Fall is definitely going straight on my Wishlist, and if you’re a fan of puzzle platformers, I highly recommend that you put it on yours as well.