Child of Light: The Best Game at PAX East 2014

Child of Light may be the best game on the PAX East floor.

Child of Light may be the best game on the PAX East floor.

Fifteen minutes.

That’s all it took to make me fall in love with Ubisoft’s upcoming RPG, Child of Light.

In Child of Light you play as Aurora: a princess who must bring back the sun, the moon, and the stars in order to make it back to her home. Sound simple? That’s probably because it is, and that’s not a bad thing.

Child of Light has a unique innocence. I don’t know if it’s the storybook graphics (beautifully rendered in the UbiArt engine), the dialogue that’s all spoken in rhyme, or the clear line between good and evil – but it’s tremendously satisfying. 

Even before entering the first battle Child of Light will sweep the player off of their feet with the beautiful visuals that combine a children’s book feel with a classic painting. Then, you find out Aurora can fly and it becomes that much more liberating. 

The traversal in the side-scrolling game is crisp and quick, making it easy to dive right in and discover more of the game. 

Only minutes into the demo Aurora runs into a wizard named Finn, who’s kin have been turned into a bunch of drunk crows (yes, they’re drunk, and it’s kind of adorable). Aurora vows to travel into the small village’s well to fix the drunk crow problem, and the wizard tags along to lend his wizardly abilities.

**The characters speak entirely in rhyme. It’s shockingly not annoying.**

The combat system in Child of Light will be instantly familiar to anyone who has played a Final Fantasy game numbered before 10. It’s a timed turn-based system that will allow you to see when Aurora, her allies, and her enemies will act. The system is simple, elegant, and surprisingly deep, thanks to the inclusion of Aurora’s constant companion Igniculus.

Igniculus adds another wrinkle in that you can move him around the field independent from Aurora – allowing him to either heal allies, or slow enemies. Igniculus’ abilities help to further add to the strategy aspects of the game: Should you take the time to heal, or try to interrupt an enemy mid charge?

**The beautiful (deadly) fireballs of doom.**

While the demo was fairly brief, I can confidently say that it was one of the best, if not the best game on the show floor. It’s not every day you see a line of jaded gamers grin while playing what is essentially a fairy tale – and that’s meaningful.

Child of Light is set to release on April 30 on PC, PS3, PS4, 360, Xbox One, and Wii U.

About the author

Max Jay

I am an aspiring video game journalist and a professional awesome person. My words make knowledge parents in your brain that give birth to baby-smiles on your face. You can listen to my podcast by going on iTunes and searching Video Game Podcast Show!