Parents' Guide to


By David Chapman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Retro adventure is a fresh mix of nostalgia and challenge.

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A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this game.

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No matter how flashy or innovative video games may get, there's always going to be an appeal for those that successfully follow a classic formula. Sparklite is the perfect example of how to take nostalgic charm and craft it into a wholly new and original adventure. What makes Sparklite stand out isn't the fact that it's something you've never seen before, but rather that it takes what you know and pieces it all together in a way that feels somehow fresh but with a familiar sense of déjà vu. Both the game's style and core mechanics feel like they've been pulled from the golden age of the Super Nintendo era. Most of the action consists of running around planet-side, taking on the Baron's minions between quests for the various townsfolk.

One of the more interesting, but also stressful, tweaks to the formula involves the game's procedurally generated world. Basically, every time you visit your flying base of operations, whether voluntarily or after getting defeated in battle, the world beneath you shuffles and shifts around. As a result, every person, item, and quest you might visit is placed in a randomly changing location. The knowledge that all your hard work and exploration can get reset at a moment's notice adds a constant challenge to the game, as well as an extra layer of anxiety. Still, there's a real sense of accomplishment as you progress, upgrading your equipment and your base along the way. It's that sense of growth as both a character and as player that keeps the game from getting stale or repetitive, and keeps your interest in seeing that next quest through to the end.

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