Journey of the Light Review

Let’s all go on a journey! Or maybe just a light will. It also won’t make it very far on its journey. Maybe that’s just the Journey of the Light though?

Journey of the Light Logo

UPDATE: Journey of the Light has been removed from Steam due to findings regarding the game and the fact it doesn’t exist beyond the first level. My review will remain here as-is, as I feel it talks about this and other issues that existed in the game anyways.

I had originally picked up Journey of the Light in some bundle. I have no clue which one I got it from as it has been sitting on my “to do” list for quite awhile. The premise sounded interesting – guide this ball of light through these areas. Unfortunately, it seems “areas” is really “area” as there seems to be no way to actually make it past the first area.

Yes, that’s right. The dev claims you can do it, you just need to “use the lights correctly” and “follow the hints given”. Now, see, here’s the thing – the hints given are very vague. The dev has even made a little “guide” for the game that only shows information for chapter 1 and is just about as vague as the hints in-game. And if you were wondering, the hints in-game are very vague.

See, let’s have a little lesson in “typical game design”. Typically a game will start you off easy, teach you what you need to do before setting you off into the world. Not Journey of the Light. From what the dev has said, chapter 1 is the “hardest” chapter and the game really opens up beyond that. That’s not how game design works. Oh but I forgot, he’s trying to go for something different.

This game has been out for several months now and has had one “Major Bug Fix”. This, supposedly, added in more hints and fixed some issues with getting stuck. Yet, despite this “fix”, not a single person has made it past chapter 1. I spent over an hour trying to do so, even recruiting in Augora to help me out. Neither of us could figure out what to do, even with following all of the supposed hints it gives you. It devolved into the most fun we were having with the game was climbing up ledges in unintended ways and going off the world.

Journey of the Light Typo
You quickly get thrown into some splash screens with awful grammar.

The issues with Journey of the Light extend beyond the fact anything beyond chapter 1 seems non-existent (it’s very easy for a dev to just make screenshots saying “hey here’s later content”, and they haven’t even really done that). The “soundtrack” of Journey of the Light seems to consist of about 2-3 songs. What a laugh, considering the soundtrack is apparently up for sale for $0.99 as DLC. There’s the main menu song, I think there was a song for the “intro” to chapter 1, and then the chapter 1 “song”. You can’t even really call it a song either, it’s just about eight notes repeated over roughly 16 seconds. Eight notes that you’ll quickly mute.

Oh, but wait! You’ll soon find that if you quit out and want to restart the game, your sound settings have reset! Thank god for volume mixer, a place where the setting will actually stick. Now, of course, this “volume” option is really the only option the game has. Brilliant.

Journey of the Light presents you with the ability to “use” stuff.Going back, this is supposed to be how you solve the supposed puzzle of chapter 1. Unfortunately, it seems it’s set to be used globally instead of on just what is nearby. You can walk up to a lamp, see it’s on, hit E to turn it on/off. Walk away, hit E again, walk back… oh what’s this? It’s changed? Yeah. The lamps, which are the only interactable object I could even find, are set to go opposite of each other. There are two sets of them, and each pressing of E will set it so that the opposite one is turned on. I imagine this being “fixed” so that only what was nearby changed would suddenly make chapter 1 solvable.

Journey of the Light Railroad

As it stands now, Journey of the Light feels like an absolute joke to be a “full release” game. It feels like something that should be in early alpha. Oh but hey, at least it looks pretty? That’s literally about all it gets points for. The fact this game is not being labeled as Early Access, and at that it is even released at all feels like a joke. It doesn’t actually feel like there’s a game there beyond the first chapter, no matter what the developer claims. I’m sorry, this is not the “hardest game on Steam”. It’s just… not a game.

At least I can roll off the world and end it all. Or slide off, because the ball looks more like it slides and the effect on it tries to make it seem like it’s moving. Except that it does the same thing while standing still. This “game” just needed more stuff wrong I guess. Don’t get me started on the spelling either. I can understand English not being a first language, but that’s when you consult someone so that you don’t break every English grammar rule in the book.

Journey of the Light Review Score

0.5/5

Hey, like I said, at least it looks pretty?

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