Light Tracer is a PSVR game that also recently released for HTC Vive and an Oculus version not far behind. Does this 3rd person puzzle game hold up in the VR realm, and is it worth your time?
What Is Light Tracer?
VR is still a relatively new platform and developers are still trying to wrap their heads around what they can do, and what works that doesn’t cause VR sickness. Light Tracer is the latest title I have played in the genre, and it’s another title that put me in the 3rd person only this time, I was assisting the main character. The game combines perspective, puzzles, and a unique control scheme in a cute package that offers a unique adventure through a Tower of Bable style game. You are tasked with guiding the princess to the top of this massive tower. Each level has differing challenges, platforming, and a boss at the end.
First off, if you don’t have two Move controllers, you won’t be able to play Light Tracer, so be sure you have those on hand. As you guide the princess ever upward using a beam of light to tell her where to walk, you must also control the level by twisting, turning, pushing, and pulling the environment to get her around with the other. You do also control the princess in a way by telling her when to jump, swing a sword to dispatch enemies, or stand on objects.
The princess follows the beam of light no matter where you place it, her own safety be damned. Thus leaning to control her movement on the narrow pathways while also avoiding dangers can be challenging at first. It gets even more demanding as things go from simple pathways and enemies on a set route to you jumping over gaps, avoiding enemies and traps in the ever-changing tower as you climb.
A Challenging, Yet Fun Experience
It doesn’t seem like much at first, but new gameplay elements are introduced in every subsequent chapter that adds more depth to the puzzler. Things such as objects you can control in one direction or another, jumping platforms, or icy walkways that make the princess slide forward uncontrollably. Later stages even change the gravity mechanic that continues to keep you on your toes while playing the game. The developers have managed to constantly change up what you will expect so you don’t become complacent while also keeping you engaged.
One earlier challenge will have you jumping from platform to platform while trying to avoid projectiles being thrown at you. If you fall, you’ve got to start all over. The game sometimes places you in some tough areas that can sometimes be difficult to navigate around due to poor vision. The game can also require a serious amount of precision and is often unforgiving in its design. Luckily, the game does have little checkpoints you will run across every so often so you don’t have to start each level over from the beginning every time you fail. It also gives you an infinite amount of lives, so there’s no need to get too frustrated if you’re having trouble.
The game has a very lighthearted look about it, with the chibi art style and simple yet chipper music. It’s not your typical art style seen in games, and it doesn’t really lend itself to the style and challenge the game has, but it’s not bad either. The story is just as simplistic as the art, but its enough to keep the game moving along while just barely explaining the new features.
Bosses of Confusion?
Boss encounters were probably the most confusing part of the game. Most of them could be taken out with strategies learned from the stages just climbed, but the developer decides to throw you a curveball now and again. First off, the bosses don’t have a life meter, and when they get there’s no indication they took any damage. The first boss left me wondering if I was doing the right thing the entire time before he finally lay defeated. The second boss requires players to use a teeter toter to throw rocks back at the boss which is something I had to accidentally figure out as it wasn’t readily apparent what I was supposed to do.
Is It Worth Your Time?
For a mere $14.99 on either platform, Light Tracer offers an increasing challenge that keeps you thinking throughout that I’d say it’s a worthy addition to your VR catalog. It’s not perfect, with controls and gameplay that often require precision in a frustrating manner can get a little irritating, as well as bosses that leave you wondering. The challenge to do more than one thing at the same time with different hands in order to progress up the tower is a worthwhile experience. It may look like something you don’t want to play due to the art style and childish music, but don’t let that put you off from missing out on such a unique game.
Review Code provided by the publisher. Review based on PSVR Version. Also available PC via HTC Vive.