Parents' Guide to

One Upon Light

By Neilie Johnson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Challenging yet frustrating puzzler has confusing story.

Game PlayStation 4 2015
One Upon Light Poster Image

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Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: Not yet rated
Kids say: Not yet rated

This is a good example of an excellent concept let down by execution. The idea of an accident in a light science lab is a good one and provides good opportunities for story and gameplay. The main character starts with an interesting problem -- prolonged exposure to light will kill him -- and his condition dictates all the gameplay. One Upon Light sets up an interesting mystery and leaves clues in the form of internal memos suggesting the sinister nature of that mystery. Restrained sound design (machinery, musical tones, footsteps) and minimal black-and-white graphics add to the intrigue. Unfortunately, not enough comes of that mystery, and things become more frustrating than fascinating due to imprecise controls and puzzles that require split-second timing. Thankfully, these annoying opportunities for repetitious death alternate with more logical, strategic puzzles that evolve over time in an interesting way. Still, the early exasperation factor could prevent players from ever experiencing that evolution, and players who do stick with the action could be disappointed by the game's vague and confusing ending.

Game Details

  • Platform: PlayStation 4
  • Pricing structure: Paid
  • Available online?: Available online
  • Publisher: SUTD Game Lab
  • Release date: October 13, 2015
  • Genre: Puzzle
  • Topics: Science and Nature
  • ESRB rating: E10+ for Fantasy Violence, Mild Language
  • Last updated: January 15, 2022

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