[PS4 Review] One Upon Light

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One Upon Light is a monochromatic cartoony top-down light manipulation puzzler. You play as a scientist who is allergic to light, all due to an experiment that obviously went wildly wrong! Direct exposure to light will instantly kill you, so you must manipulate the light and turn it into shadows so you can safely cross without harm.

This is where the puzzle elements come in to play. The game is solely focused on light and shadows, so you must navigate trough the safety of shadows and avoid light at all costs to complete each level. Now the devs are not going to make it that easy for us, are they? Of course not! There are plenty of obstacles that will get in the way, and after a few levels for you to get the hang of things, it becomes a real brain teaser.

You will have to be vigilant of your surroundings because the floors are creaky, and sometimes they give away. When that happens, you will need to find an alternate route. Sometimes environmental objects can help you to create a new safe path by, say, using a box to walk through light while remaining in the shadows, or hitting a switch that will create extra shadows for you to pass… but then game can get a little tricky since the shadows might come and go too fast, forcing you to get the timing right because you can’t run, which makes situations like this a little tough.

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Later on in the game you will get the Shadow Echo Glove. Using this handy tool will allow you to manipulate time so you can, for example, pick a box’s shadow then move the box away while shadow remains, and this will allow you to to progress through much tougher levels.

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There are plenty of checkpoints that are very well spaced out, so if you make an error you can restart at the checkpoint, which is kinda nice as you really don’t want to repeat any of the previous tough puzzles! Having to redo entire levels because of one small mistake would have been too much.

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A problem I had with One Upon Light was that the difficulty spike is very inconsistent. You may get a few easy levels and then out of nowhere some ridiculously difficult ones enter the fray. The game can be difficult and frustrating in places, but apart from those little niggles, it is a fairly decent and well-presented game. The graphics are polished, and the music really does set the tone for the game.

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The game is incredibly short, and it will take you roughly around 2-3 hours to complete 21 levels. If you are aiming for a 100% playthrough, then you are looking at maybe 5-7 hours. There are absolutely no collectibles. At the end of each level, you pick up a newspaper clipping for a little bit of back story but that’s it.

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The level design is clever and the puzzles are well thought. I had a lot of fun playing One Upon Light. I was completely stumped during a few levels, but I managed to complete the game. I’m still missing some trophies, but that is something I will rectify soon!


Great puzzles.
Fantastic mechanics.
Good music.
Difficulty spike isn't even.


This review is based on a digital copy of One Upon Light provided by Rising Star Games.

Written by: Tracey - Contributing Editor


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