The Hello Games story is just right for the sequel to Blood, Sweat and Pixels, which Jason Schreyer, a former Kotaku employee, is now actively writing (which may be released in 2021). Having started their careers with the simplest mobile entertainment, the developers swung at the global space arcade with procedural generation of planets and their environments. The promises turned out to be too many for a studio with no relevant experience. The initial failure of No Man’s Sky would otherwise have led to a shameful dissolution and departure from the industry, but the guys turned out to be with ambition and a desire to prove to the world that they will continue the project despite all negative things said by the public.
By 2019, the quality of the video game turned out to be even higher than promised on the initial release. Online on all platforms is stable, and free content add-ons appear regularly. As part of the Hello Games Short initiative, a small team spun off from the backbone to work on The Last Campfire, an intimate indie adventure announced at The Game Awards 2018. As part of the series, developers will periodically release small games to play over an evening or two. The development of the first game took about two years.
It should be noted that the visual style in the green and blue colors is in many ways comparable to the studio’s previous creation. However, we are not talking about global worlds generated in real time and providing endless opportunities for research. No, in front of you is the most comfortable and interesting story that you can safely recommend to parents for a joint walkthrough with children. At first glance, this is an isometric adventure, but then it is revealed as a puzzle and a high-quality isometric metroidvania with quest elements and with gradually opening unobvious routes.
According to the plot, a little pretty Ember fought off its relatives and ended up in an unknown place. Now he has to find his way home, going through a series of puzzles and rescuing the Fallen relatives, helping them find their way to the Light. The events are commented on by the narrator from the third person, and the characters themselves, when communicating with each other, publish only inarticulate mutters. The production is excellent, there are many cut-scenes, and they are no worse than modern cartoons. Either a giant turtle will crawl out of the house, making a surprised grimace when looking at the hero, or a nasty hog will block the path, and he will have to be fed with improvised items to go further. The atmosphere of an absurd but sweet fairy tale made perfectly in this game.
After walking through the picturesque starting location and getting acquainted with the mechanics, we will reach a dying fire, which must be kindled. Suddenly, a ghost appears over the flames and asks Ember to find his relatives in the area to lead them to the fire.
There are always many paths in this game, it is easy to get lost. But when you approach the fire and call the poltergeist, you may ask him where the nearest Fallen is. The character will receive a hint, something like: “Turn around, go to the northeast, go to the pond and you will notice a tired traveler.” The lack of such help has been a problem in many metroidvania games, where there are so many paths in the open world that the eyes run wild.
Puzzles – good and different
Typically, each puzzle’s task is to bring the glowing flame to the Fallen in order to breathe life into him. We move the boxes, avoid wind sources (if the flame goes out, the location will restart), we maneuver over the abyss, press the buttons, push the cobblestones in the shape of a giant wheel and engage in other exciting activities. At first, the tasks are quite elementary, gradually they become more complicated, and the game ceases to forgive mistakes. For example, when dragging a light across a maze, the slightest collision will lead to a rollback to the beginning of the level.
Conventionally, the world can be divided into three locations (according to the number of bonfires lit), but between them unexpected meetings and sketches await you, helping you to better get used to the world. To exit the first biome, you need to save the number of embers marked in the upper part of the display (the scale is displayed when interacting with the fire).
There will also be quest elements. You will be hinted about the need to give something to the fisherman sitting by the ravine and looking aimlessly at the float. Or repair a landing net in order to fish out the key that opens the door from the pond. The entrance threshold is minimal, parents can easily keep the child busy for a couple of hours. It plays well in a portable format. For example, you can hand over an iPad with Apple Arcade activated, where this game is available free of charge thanks to subscription service.
The No Man’s Sky authors’ initiative to release chamber adventures has been successfully launched. If the rest of the works are of the same high level, we will go complete them with pleasure. We do recommend to play The Last Campfire. This adventure you wont forget for a long time!