Shardlight, the latest development from Wadjet Eye Games, comes out with a bang and proves to be a great story with unique puzzles and quintessential story of how a futuristic corrupt government would operate.
Wadjet Eye Games has developed a reputation for producing award-winning and critically acclaimed adventure games for the PC since 2006 and we at Confident Gamers have been honored to cover several of their games over the past year. It was only natural that we jumped at the opportunity to try their latest creation, Shardlight.
Shardlight is tale of a people without hope or hero. A world devastated and shattered by falling of bombs, followed by disaster and death. Now twenty years after the bombs have fallen, the remaining survivors are now dying from an incurable disease that has limited supply to a vaccine, coupled with an aristocratic government that is of no help to the people.
The only help the people have falls into the hands of a mechanic Amy Willard. Although she herself along with her friends are barely surviving, she finds herself in numerous situations that equip her and position her to do what is needed to help correct the imbalance in the world. Green Lung has gripped their community, the only medicine a vaccine that is in scarce supply. While the wealthy elite pay to stay healthy the poor must risk their lives, performing dangerous government jobs in exchange for a chance of winning meager vaccine doses in a stacked-odds lottery. We must help Amy along her journey, navigating into the social hierarchy in order to expose the secretes that plague their suffering community.
Shardlight is a classic point & click adventure packed with a great story and puzzles that were very well planned out and sensical. Thankfully if you are familiar with this point and click game genre, then you will find it fairly easy to pick up and navigate you way around the stages finding the clues you need and interacting with what is needed. You can play using the mouse only, or if you are feeling adventurous you can try it out using a Steam controller as I did. Both methods work well. You progress through the game by interacting with the objects and people around you. For objects you can simple view them to gain more insight, or you can pick some items up and add them to your inventory. In your inventory you can also combine certain objects together to make newer objects. For people, again you can look at them to get more details, or interact with them to start a dialogue where more fact finding can commence.
Shardlight is a very story driven game so it is extremely important that you take notes about the people and situations you come across as they will hold clues and tips about what the your next step in the game would be. You will see situations where you won’t immediately use objects or information you discover right away.
The game also contains one very unique puzzle that possess features that are rarely attempted in games and even more rarely pulled off so well. There is one puzzle that requires you to use the mouse to draw something on the screen. The game has to be able to analyze if the image your have drawn is the correct shape. So many different thing could go wrong with a puzzle like that but from the few times I played through that area of the game, each time I was able to execute the puzzle and have the game recognize it correctly each time.
While the game play is extremely smooth I did experience one interesting glitch that effected an entire stage near the end of the game. When I entered a certain persons lair that is located at the top of an area Amy became completely invisible. Theoretically you don’t really need to see her at all, I was still able to talk to people and click on things to interact and move the story along. But it was still bothersome to not be able to see her. I was able to see a faint shadow on the floor so I knew where I was standing. But yeah, as soon as I progressed to another stage she returned. Now I only wish I was smart enough to take a screen shot of the incident.
Shardlight has a great old-school pixel-art graphic appeal to it. The color tones throughout the game really play a part in setting the pace and atmosphere for the entire storyline. The green shards that are covering the entire area and illuminating each area not only taint the world with a shade of green, but they are also a constant reminder of the situation that covers the people as well as the green lung plague. The music surrounding the game really does a great job of setting the tone for the various stages and areas you encounter. Along with the music is the voice acting that makes up each of the characters. Wadjet Eye Games had always done a great job of lining up some great actors to cover their games and they nailed it again with Shardlight.
Like many story driven games Shardlight contains hours of enjoyment, with a great story behind it. However once you play through the experience there isn’t much to pull you back in. What is however different with Shardlight is there are varying outcomes that would interesting to experience. For instance, there are actually three alternate ways that the game could end. That does certainly add some encouragement to not put the game down just with one play through.
If you are familiar with the Wadjet Eye game style or if this would be your first experience with this point and click style of game we recommend that you give Shardlight a try. Shardlight is filled with an amazing storyline and strong female lead that is not afraid to do what is needed to save the people she cares about. The game is now and available via the following online stores: Steam, GOG, or the Wadjet Eye Games store.