Review: Archaica The Path of Light
Ah puzzle games, the perfect combination of zoning out and racking your brain. It’d been a while since I’d had a good puzzle game that could strike a balance between being challenging and able to hold my attention without being frustratingly difficult. I enjoy a nice challenge that’s within reason, and TwoMammoths walks that line like a champ with their game, Archaica: The Path of Light!
Archaica: The Path of Light is a pretty typical puzzle game, but with enough of an original concept to keep me interested. The concept is pretty simple; guide the colored lasers through the corresponding colored crystals using a series of different types of mirrors. Easy on the surface, but more difficult when you put obstacles in the way and start adding different types of mirrors and having combine colored lasers. What’s nice about it is that each level adds a new element to the game, so it never feels like there’s a particular pattern to solve the puzzles. It also never becomes redundant. Each new level feels fresh and new, and it’s almost like you have to refresh your brain every time and see each new puzzle from a new perspective.
I’m not one to brag, but I tend to be pretty good at puzzle games. I’m usually the one watching a person play through a level on Mario Maker and shouting the answers at my monitor. Games like Portal tend to come easy to me once I figure out the concept and the state of mind you have to be in to advance through the puzzles. I say all of this, in a way, to redeem myself.. because Archaica is friggin’ hard! Now granted, I’ve yet to really get stuck on a level. The game is nice enough to offer hints over time for when you get stuck, but the hints only tell you where something has to be placed. It doesn’t tell you if it’s a mirror, what type of mirror, or what direction it’s supposed to be facing. I spent an extra 10 minutes on a level after revealing all of the spaces just trying to figure out what went where and their orientation. When you have 6 objects of varying functions and 4 different directions they can be facing, that’s a lot of combinations to exhaust when you’re stuck. On the bright side, I was never frustrated. the payoff is extremely satisfying and the difficulty never reaches a point that makes me want to stop playing. The perfect balance for any puzzle game.
When it comes to puzzle games, I tend not to focus too much on the graphics. Typically the puzzles are too distracting to even be able to notice the graphics. Archaica: Path of Light, however, has a function in the game where you can look for artifacts around the level to unlock backstory and hints for the level. This added feature really helps appreciate the effort put into making this a beautiful game. The graphics don’t necessarily make or break the experience, but it’s nice to see a developer go that extra mile.
I’m always a fan of good sound mixing, and Archaica does a great job of this. The music is atmospheric and provides great background noise without being overwhelming, which is really important for a game where you’re trying to concentrate on how the hell to get 2 lasers to hit 2 separate crystals while bouncing off of the same damn mirror! The sound effects are subtle and effective, like the sound of grinding stones when you turn a mirror. It gives the feeling of moving around ancient and long forgotten artifacts.
In conclusion, I would recommend this game for anyone in need of a solid puzzle game to occupy their mind with. Archaica: The Path of Light has a calming yet addictive effect, much like how Flappy Bird was for me on mobile, or how I imagine if felt for people who were addicted to Candy Crush. The challenges are difficult, but not unreasonably so, the concept is original and interesting, and there was enough variety between each level to keep my interest and motivate me to want to keep solving puzzles.
Give away details!
We have five Steam Keys for Archaica: The Path of Light! To be entered to win a key be sure to leave a comment on either our YouTube video review or this article! After that we will get in touch by 9/15 with the winners!