Reviews - Updated on April 8, 2022

Sparklite is made up entirely of elements that independent developers love to use in their games. Of course, there are “pixel” graphics. Of course, this is a “bagel” with a map randomly generated after death. Naturally, the enemies drop the currency that we spend on improvements and purchases in the central location. There is nothing wrong with this – many people achieve success by adding all these components to their games. It remains only to understand whether there is something in Sparklite in addition to all of the above.

Protecting the ore

The action of the novelty takes place on the territory of Geodia, a country with large reserves of sparklight, a blue ore that is a source of energy. It is desirable to use it for peaceful purposes, which is what the locals do, but in such a story there should always be an evil antagonist. A certain Baron of Geodia himself took up the extraction of sparklight, created war machines with his help and slowly destroys the world – because of his actions, nature dies, and animals become monsters.

The plot is so-so, but after a couple of minutes the plot will no longer remind of itself – the main character Ada will be asked to defeat the five assistants of the Baron, and the story will not receive any development. The characters are flat, there is nothing to talk about with them, random NPCs either give a stupid quest or thank you for saving, and this is where their usefulness ends. The universe is very boring and cliched, so playing Sparklite is just for the sake of the gameplay. But he has even more problems.

You find yourself in a location, the world map is covered with the “fog of war”, you are allowed to go in any direction. You need to find the boss’s lair, defeat him and get a skill that will open access to the next area – and there you have to do exactly the same. Things wouldn’t be so bad if the game didn’t become terribly monotonous after only ten minutes. Everything that you manage to see in these ten minutes will be repeated throughout the entire passage.

Random generation, as happens in all unsuccessful roguelikes, in fact changes almost nothing. The developers have added several “room” templates that they rearrange after each death of the character, which is why the “fog of war” reappears every time. Bosses are placed differently, chests are placed differently, and so on. Starting the third, fourth, fifth and all other attempts, you will again see the same areas: here three monsters dig underground, there two trees stand near the abyss, here the chest is “hidden” behind the bushes…

Sparklite game review

Defeating the gremlins will not be difficult – they are very reluctant to swing their sabers.

Therefore, clearing areas quickly becomes a chore. A cave with primitive puzzles may come across, or a traveler kidnapped by gremlins and put in a cage, but the gameplay will not become more fun from this. In addition, the areas are not so different – visually, of course, they differ at least in color, but the vegetation is sometimes the same, and the structure of the locations does not change.

rare virtues

But the main problem of Sparklite is not even in this, but in how ineptly its creators tried to connect different elements with each other. Take, for example, pumping. By defeating monsters and opening chests, the heroine receives currency, which is spent on all sorts of improvements. There are a lot of them here – so much so that there is not enough money for anything and you have to engage in “grinding”, which, taking into account other shortcomings, cannot be called an exciting process.

You can buy new tables for the workshop to craft items (for some reason, the table becomes unusable after creating a single thing). The store sells upgrades that can be inserted into a separate inventory, divided into several slots. This inventory can also be expanded to have more slots. But the improvements aren’t nearly as useful as they might seem. An increase in health with the help of one, let’s say, detail, occurs only by a quarter of the “heart”. Most enemies take out a whole heart with one blow, so there is no use for a quarter – you will need four identical parts, and they are more and more expensive each time.

Perhaps the “grind” would not be so tiring if the combat system received some development, but it does not change. From the very beginning, the character is trained in a standard combo of three attacks and a strong blow, which takes so long to charge that it is pointless to use it. Later, it becomes possible to use “gadgets” created in the workshop, such as a crossbow or a flying bomb, but the former does little damage, and the latter is difficult to control. There will be no interesting weapons or original ways to deal with enemies that you meet for the 50th time.

Sparklite game review

In this area, you will have to watch out for acid puddles, which is also not fun.

It is very strange that the authors of Sparklite cite Rogue Legacy and The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past as their sources of inspiration. The first was famous for the fact that each new passage was really different from the previous one – at least due to the unique features of the heroes. Here, after death, you return to the base, buy any useless nonsense there and fly back – always to the same area. And then you walk and look for a way out of it in order to quickly get to a new unexplored place, where at least the opponents look different.

With Zelda, Sparklite is related only by the camera moving from one “room” to another during the transition. Otherwise, this is a primitive “bagel”, where there are no secrets, some zones are completely empty (once I went through three screens and didn’t see anyone), and rare hidden chests are not worth creating appropriate devices in the workshop for them. With one of them, the heroine will be able to shrink and climb into the pipes to exit from the other end, but in return she will receive some trinket like three bombs, which will lie dead in her inventory.

The only thing I liked about the game (besides the visual style, which is quite nice) is the boss fights. Guessing how they should be defeated is very simple, but the battles do not become less exciting – and the opponents are animated great, and the mechanics used are not the most hackneyed. The main thing is to get used to Ada’s stupidly implemented dash, after which she stops for a split second and refuses to move, despite your pressing. How many times have I forgotten about this and received damage … Health is rarely restored here (thanks that there are a bunch of “hearts” in front of the room with the boss), so you constantly swear at the controls.

That’s the whole combat system.

***

Sparklite is not “garbage”, it’s just not entirely clear why it should be passed. There is no plot, the locations are not impressive in appearance, the combat system is very simple and uncomplicated. For the sake of “grinding” you can run some kind of Moonlighter – in the summer an inexpensive addition came out to it, by the way. In Sparklite, you are forced to spend time fighting the same monsters in order to collect currency and improve the base, but it’s not worth it at all – here you don’t feel that you have become stronger or something has changed significantly. You’re just wasting time that could have been better spent.

Pros: cute visual style; good boss fights.

Cons: uninteresting universe and a simple story; random generation brings nothing but annoyance; the combat system quickly gets bored due to the lack of depth; You need to grind a lot, but doing it is boring.

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