So one of my biggest problems with Bishop Games' Light Fall is that it seems a bit too similar to some other really popular indie games. However, the actual gameplay experience makes up for a bit of that same-face problem. Part of the similarity is the color palette. If you walked through the Indie Megabooth at PAX East (or really any other convention, PAX being the most recent I attended) you'd find a whole slew of games built around the blue-purple-black color scheme. EA Originals' Fe was built entirely in that color scheme, which actually ended up being a major distraction by the end of the game.
Light Fall might use much of the same colors, but it does have variety. There are stages where you find not one purple pixel.
Of course, the similarities don't stop at color, either. Light Fall is a side-scrolling platformer, which places it squarely in the most indie genre of all indie game genres.
Going through the game's "Key Features" list on Steam doesn't net you a whole lot of different either. The game boasts "the ultimate freedom," "an immersive journey" in a "vast world to explore." Bishop Games also invites speedrunners to take on Light Fall in a special Speedrun Game Mode, which is possibly the most unique thing about Light Fall's Steam page. It gives you the base game, just with a timer and the ability to share your fastest time with other players.
So here I was at PAX East, trying to find something about Light Fall that made it different. And suddenly it hit me.
The most unique thing about Light Fall are the boxes. You can control a "shadow core" that allows you to spawn your own boxes to jump off of in order to make it through stages and solve puzzles. In a time where boxes in games can be very, very dangerous objects, having the ability to spawn your own is pretty damn cathartic.
Sure, they don't drop loot – but they can help you get to it.
All the snarking aside, Light Fall is a damn fun game, and I am excited for the full release which was delayed last month thanks to some snags with the Switch edition. Its an enjoyable game with some very familiar elements, but they're tried and true ones. And not even I can deny that they work just as well, if not better, in Light Fall than they did in Limbo.