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Sparklite

Posted by GG Goblin On November - 21 - 2019

Rogue-lite Zelda?

 
The Rogue-lite genre is kind of saturated at the moment, with more and more games releasing on an almost daily basis that take aspects of a Roguelike without fully committing. This presents a problem for developers as they need to do something to stand out from the crowd and make their game noticed. When it comes to Red Blue Games’ Sparklite, there is certainly a sense of familiarity that fans of the Zelda games will recognise, but will this be enough to distinguish the game from all of the other Rogue-lites out there?

 


 
Players take on the role of Ada and her little robot pal Wingnut. Having crashed on the planet of Geodea, the player will soon discover that the world is in peril as a result of the games’ bad guy Baron, who happens to be digging into the planets core for what are surely nefarious reasons. This is giving rise to earthquakes that actually change the layout of the world each time the player starts exploring. Fortunately, Ada turns out to be the “chosen one” and, from the city hub that floats above the world, will have to work her way through the various different areas, fight a bunch of bosses and bring Baron to heel.

 
From the very beginning, the Zelda influence is obvious. Ada is armed with a large wrench which she can swing around as if a sword, allowing her to break things up to find Sparklite, which is the games currency, and fight the various monsters found on the surface. She also begins with some nifty rocket boots that allow her to dash away from enemies or across small gaps in the landscape. it all starts out quite innocently.

 
But it doesn’t take too long for the player to realise that this is no simple action adventure. The world is made up of a variety of different areas, each with their own theme and style of enemy. The problem is that to move from one area to the next, and thus progress in the game, the player will have to defeat the previous areas boss. While the overworld enemies are relatively easy to defeat, the boss battles turn out to be massively long affairs where the player will have to look for the cues from the boss in order to judge their own attacks.

 
Of course, death in the game means waking up back in the floating city after having lost all of Ada’s items, which is frustrating but to be expected from a game in this genre. However, it is from the city that Ada can further prepare for her adventure by visiting the various shops, which can be upgraded as Ada continues her adventure.

 


 
Patches are one way that Ada can improve, and they are dealt with in an interesting way. Patches are like some kind of runes and the player has a grid-like storage area for the. From here, they can choose which patches to equip, with more powerful patches taking up more space. These patches could add extra health, or other buffs designed to make the players time easier. It is also possible to upgrade the container to allow for more patches down the line.

 
Travelling around the overworld, the player will come across dungeons. Certain dungeons will contain the bosses that the player will have to fight, but other dungeons are there for different purposes. Some may be just so the player can do some more fighting, while others will gift the player with new gadgets and then show the player how to use them. These dungeons will present the player with a blueprint at the end that can be used to make the gadget for Ada to use elsewhere. The gadgets are, for the most part, not particularly inspired and really don’t have much use outside of solving environmental puzzles. The one exception is the remote-cotrolled missile which is actually great fun to play around with. The biggest problem here is that the gadgets don’t really have much use during battles, making them even more forgettable.

 
There are other things to do in Sparklite, but all of them work towards making Ada powerful enough to fight the next boss on her list. The bosses have to be defeated in order, with each defeat allowing the player access to a new area, until the final area is reached. From various collectibles to finding new NPCs that will move into the floating city, there is always something new to do. Add to this the fact that the world will be different each time the player ventures out again, thanks to those earthquakes, and there is a certain amount of variety to the Zelda-style gameplay.

 
Sparklite’s pixel-art visuals are another example of the Zelda inspiration. The game is bright, colourful and charming. The main enemies may be a little limited, but the bosses are quite imaginative and cool to watch. The sound design is adequate, although nothing special.

 


 
Sparklite is a game in a crowded genre, and it tries to stand out by offering a nostalgic hit. Despite the nostalgia not being unique, Sparklite is still a solid Rogue-lite RPG with some fun ideas that is sure to be popular amongst the Rogue-lite fans.

 

 ★★★★★★★☆☆☆ 



 

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