htoL#NiQ: The Firefly Diary puts you in the shoes of a mysterious girl who must escape danger and solve a variety of puzzles to escape.
Mion has awoken from her sleep, trapped in a dangerous labyrinth. She has no memories, no clue how she got here. All she has are two fireflies – one in the light and one in the dark. To escape, you will need to use these fireflies to move and interact with the world. You’ll head through a large variety of puzzles in this method and find out what is truly lurking in the depths.
The Firefly Diary is a pretty challenging puzzle game. Don’t let it fool you though – you do not have to exclusively use the touch screens for this. It was around halfway through the game that I discovered the ability to change my control scheme. Suddenly, things became a lot easier… though the game was still pretty hard.
Puzzles will start out short and simple at first. Push that, climb that. As you progress further, more dangers will be added and you’ll have to switch between the two fairies more often (either through the rear touch screen or the triangle button with the buttons control scheme). Levels will also become a lot harder, and there’s also the usual auto scrollers thrown in.
Unless you are some absolute pro puzzle gamer, expect to repeat sections a LOT. It sometimes feels like there’s never enough checkpoints in the toughest parts. This also gets added onto the fact that as you get further, the levels get longer and longer. More dangerous traps get thrown at you and you must figure out how to best use these traps to your advantage to get through.
Sometimes the hitboxes in the game feel off, though when all of the main enemies are hidden in the shadow it’s up to you to figure out where they actually are. Depending on the placement of your light firefly the shadows will appear differently, despite them still being there. This adds another layer of difficulty into the game, depending on how well you can perceive things.
Now, mind you, “difficult puzzle game” doesn’t automatically mean bad. The Firefly Diary isn’t a bad game by any stretch, it’s just challenging. The puzzles really will make you think and search your surroundings to figure out what you actually need to do. This’ll be accompanied with multiple attempts to get it right. Though when you get stuck trying to get through a maze for 30+ minutes… Yeah, the frustration tends to start kicking in. The same when you get so close to beating a boss but you either keep getting killed by not making it to the last phase enough or something falling on your head at a bad time.
htoL#NiQ: The Firefly Diary is a pretty good overall though. While it does seem the hit boxes can be a pain at times, you can definitely work around them. It will also really make you think and keep trying things. And for the trophy hunters out there, some of the things you need to do for the trophies will also really make you think them through and keep trying and practicing things. If you’re a puzzle game fan, especially if you like them mixed with a side of some platforming, then check out htoL#NiQ: The Firefly Diary, which is available now for the PlayStation Vita.
htoL#NiQ: The Firefly Diary Review Score
I would like to thank NIS America for providing me with a copy of the game for review.