Child of Light is an incredibly pleasant game. The game sets the tone from the beginning, with its fairy tale illustration art style and rhyming dialogue, easing players into the adventure of Aurora in the land of Lemuria. Her journey to take back the sun, moon, and stars and defeat the Queen of Night is a charming one complete with a fantastic supporting cast and strange lands to explore. From Rubella and her failed rhyming (and the self deprecation of her brother Tristis) to Gen and the fate of her parents, Child of Light's simple story is littered with both heartfelt and amusing moments.
The gameplay is the icing: A fun active-time-battle combat system with a nice dose of strategy (and MANY ways to heal yourself). Leveling your heroes and building out their skill trees is satisfying but your choices on that front aren't the most impactful. But who cares? Child of Light is a video game fairytale and it is a joy to play. The game never overstays its welcome, and the soundtrack is also great. If you hate nice things then don't play this game. Otherwise it is a pleasant romp for any RPG fan and newcomer alike.
What a delightful romp Child of Light turned out to be. During the podcast we ended up discussing Alice in Wonderland, The Wizard of Oz, and The Brothers Lionheart as its possible influences, and Child of Light fits alongside those stories as fairy tales of the modern age influenced by the European classics. Opening up vertical exploration elements almost immediately with its flight mechanics and offering customizable skill trees for its diverse cast, Child of Light provides a surprising amount of player freedom during its linear story and short runtime. There's a lot to love here.
Child of Light is the result of a Triple-A development team deliberately making an intimate, personal game, and the level of craft and polish in the final product shows. The combat is fun and never feels boring or cheap, and the visual and audio presentation is gorgeous in every chapter. It's fun and engaging from start to finish, and and feels very accessible for new players of RPGs. Ubisoft doesn't get extra points for innovation or challenge, but Child of Light manages to be an easy, breezy, beautiful fantasy RPG starring the spunky Aurora as its cover girl.
Let's get the obvious out of the way first: Child of Light is a beautiful game. Whew, now that we've acknowledged the elephant in the room we can move onto less controversial topics.
Child of Light oozes with whimsical joy, a refreshing take on a well-traveled genre. In no way does Child of Light revolutionize the genre or even perfect any traditional RPG mechanics but it does successfully tie the elements into an enjoyable package. My two favorite components of Child of Light were the combat system and flying Aurora around the world.
While the story is simple, the wonderful cast of characters and charming poetic dialogue propel it from rudimentary to delightful. Without these charismatic qualities, Child of Light could have been an entirely forgettable experience but ultimately I found it be rather enjoyable.
By the way, did I mention that Child of Light has one of the most amazing art styles? It is truly a beautiful game.