A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Candleman: The Complete Journey is a downloadable single-player adventure game/puzzle platformer. This comprehensive collection includes the original Candleman game, plus a new time challenge mode and the Lost Light expansion that was originally sold separately. Its story and controls are very accessible and therefore fine for younger kids. Violence is minimal and consists only of a candle burning down, being crushed, or falling off ledges. Otherwise, there's no inappropriate content.
What's it about?
CANDLEMAN: THE COMPLETE JOURNEY tells the story of a lonely little candle journeying its way through a dark abandoned ship, through a series of mysterious shadowy lands and into the light. As this brave little candle, you light your way through the black by burning your own (10-second long) wick and by lighting other candles found throughout your environment. Simple movement controls let you run and jump to avoid long drops, fiery bursts, spiked flowers, and other deadly hazards. The goal is twofold: to find and light all the hidden candles, and to make your way to a series of glowing portals.
Is it any good?
Without relying on violence, gore, sex, or bad language, this is one of the best adventure puzzle games released in a while. Candleman: The Complete Journey begins with a sympathetic hero (a relatable, gender-neutral, anthropomorphic candle) and throws it into a series of fun, magical scenarios, just like other games that go on to become perennial favorites. The core idea of giving players 10 seconds of light to use at their discretion is extremely powerful. Not only can the flame be used to light the way, it can be used to steer magical lily pads, detonate explosive plants, and launch floating lanterns. Each new area is built around one of these ideas and teaches you how to handle increasingly difficult challenges. As Candleman progresses, a poetic little story plays out that's perfect for kids of all ages. Environments and cutscenes are elegant and beautiful, taking you to a sparkling fairytale land like something out of Walt Disney's Fantasia. The only downside to the game is its occasional camera issues. As you move, the camera changes point of view from front to orthographic to top-down, and sometimes that obstructs the path. Fortunately, each level gives you 10 "lives" to work your way through it, so if a bad camera view sends you off a ledge or makes you miss a jump, you'll have plenty of chances to try things again. Other than this small annoyance, Candleman: The Complete Journey is an extraordinary game with tons of all-ages appeal.
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