Adventure Lamp Review

Adventure Lamp is a charming puzzle game about losing your hat. In Adventure Lamp you play as Simon, a researcher looking to explore an ancient temple. After an accident, Simon becomes hopelessly trapped in the depths of the temple with no tools but his trusty hat. It is at this point that the player begins to control him, leading him through level after level using his miner’s hat to hit buttons and enemies. The player must face obstacles such as lava and flying enemies as they continue their journey, and the levels get harder to solve.

The first thing that stood out to me in this game was it’s controls, which are focused around controller use. The control scheme stuck out like a sore thumb on PC, and anyone used to playing games with a keyboard would be likely to rebind the keys immediately. I changed the movement from the arrow keys to WASD and the hat throw/jump button to F, which allowed me to play with one hand throughout the game. Although the controls were not bound in a way I was used to, and for some reason I could not bind the mouse (which left me questioning how to get the achievement where you play the game with only the mouse), the physics of the game worked smoothly, and the reactions your hat and player have with other objects feels meaningful.

This game features a unique mechanic, one that is hinted in it’s title, and was made specifically for Ludum Dare 32: An unconventional weapon. The player must use their hat to smack enemies and solve puzzles. The use of a hat, as well as factors such as wind effecting gravity in certain levels adds a fair amount of gravity manipulation to the game. I had a lot of fun experimenting with the physics of the hat throughout the game. In certain levels, light is a factor as well, where the light on your hat becomes important. The player progresses through each level by reaching a ladder placed somewhere inside, which often requires pushing buttons to make platforms appear. One thing that I disliked about this game was that some buttons only activated for a short time, while others stayed on once the button was pressed. The problem with the button system is that I had no credible way of telling which buttons stayed on, and if there was some kind of way to tell which button was which, I myself did not notice it during my play through.

The sound and graphics in this game are very well done. The music of the game fits the mood of each area, and maintains this throughout its variety of levels. The sound effects are well put together, and no repetitive sounds stick out as you play. The art style of this game is adorable, and the extra animations such as birds and mushrooms are welcome additions to the often-simple levels. I especially like the small touches that this game contains, such as how Simon looks fearful when he is near dangers such as spikes and enemies. The music, sound effects, and art style blend well in this game, nothing sticks out and this really makes you feel immersed in the game’s world.

I played through this game relatively quickly, even attaining the Speed Run achievement (finish the main game in 30 minutes), but there was an unwelcome surprise just as I was completing the later levels. After hard work solving well over 100 puzzles, the last level blanked out to white and the credits rolled. I felt gypped, “Did I go through all of those levels for nothing?” I thought to myself. After a quick credit screen, however, a new story popped up in the new game tab. In the new story, I was now able to play as one of the red blobs I was so careful to avoid in my first play though, and this blob had a different set of physics governing it. The game seemed to have a selection of new characters to play as each time you beat the game, instead of feeling gypped, I felt like I got more than I paid for! The game now proved to contain a very generous amount of replay ability. On top of the new characters, the game also encourages speed running, and provides a timer in the settings for players to see their times. Speed running often involves taking time to go through the levels, and finding the best ways to complete them, this adds a very large amount of replay value if you are into this style of play.

Adventure Lamp is a game full of content, and it’s attention to certain details like interaction with the environment on certain levels really makes it feel polished. Physics, utilization of light, and the game’s unique hat mechanics make the game very enjoyable to those who like exploration and experimentation. From different playable characters to speed running implementations, this game can keep you occupied for a while, and is definitely worth the price of admission ($9.99 USD via Steam).

REVIEW CODE: A complimentary PC code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to editor@bonusstage.co.uk.

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