Desolation. That is the one word that describes the feeling and mood of Candleman
. As a very lonely candle with legs, players quickly feel what the candle may be feeling. Itís an intriguing phenomenon to have empathy for what should be an inanimate object, but the visuals, audio, and narration help drive this isolated feeling perfectly. The entire tone of the game is underwhelming, but that is what drives this story more than anything. There is nothing flashy about Candleman
in any way. It is a straight platformer with a few limited puzzle-solving elements, where the name of the game is to make it through the darkness and reach the next level.
Candleman is based around multiple levels within each Chapter. The Chapters are all theme-based, which is nice because it captures some variety and adds additional elements that need to be rationalized and overcome.
Starting in the bow of a dark, abandoned ship, the Candleman must use his limited ability to light his wick in an effort to navigate the darkness. There are often lit areas of each environment as well to help matters, but the overall tone of the game is a balance between lighting the way and risking melting away with the overuse of flames. Along the way are candles that can be lit with a quick spark from the Candleman, and those Candles help illuminate the immediate surrounding area. At some point in each level, there is also a checkpoint candle, where the Candleman restarts should his demise come before reaching the light at the end of each session.
There are a number of Chapters in the game, but I will leave the exact number a mystery because that, too, was part of the experience of the story. Through each Chapter, the Candleman does encounter new difficulties that need to be overcome by use of his flame. Sometimes the puzzles are light-driven, and other times they are shadow-driven, but rest assured that Candleman is all about physics, environment, and light-based gameplay. In fact, from start to finish, this game goes from light to darker than can ever be expected.