By Philip Orona
Striving for light from Igniting Spark Games is an indie take on Diablo-like dungeon crawling with Rogue-like elements that is currently in early access. This game places you in a dark world where spiders, slimes, and all kinds of lovecraftian horrors await in an ever randominsing dungeon. Killing these monsters raises your “light” level and allows you to do certain things like open items, give it to NPCs, and unlock new abilities in the skill tree. The only way to survive through the dungeons is to climb the skill tree, and for that you need to Strive for Light (Roll Credits!)
As an early access game, the opening narrative and music just nails the mood of the game, but there are a lot of pieces such as graphics and controls that could still use some work. The overall tone is done well and the concept is very reminiscent of games such as the original Legacy of Kain. The game’s lighting and shading is very detailed and the monster design looks good thus far, if not a tad cartoony in some aspects. The particle and smoke effects also stand out in this indie offering. The controls are interesting in concept, but in execution it takes some time to get used to. While you can move about with a control stick, your main gamepad buttons are the same attack button, just in different directions, and as a side effect combat can seem overly simplistic.
The rogue-like works in that if you die (more like when than if), just try again in a newly randomized dungeon; however unlike some rogue type games, you take none of your previously acquired abilities with you. You must start from scratch which makes this game a steep mountain to climb and add that to the fact that boss type characters can show up randomly and completely derail your run. The stamina bar ensures that you cannot go swinging your weapon around with impunity and 3 hearts you are given at the outset also reminds you to be cautious. That skill tree is your life line to progression.
As we wait for Striving for Light to move from early access, it shows a lot of promise as a new entry in the dungeon crawler genre that challenges the player to take chances with different weapons and items that are dropped from chests (that is, if you have a key). Enemies are aggressive and the environments can be even more so. I look forward to the full release and see what direction the developer goes with this title. Meanwhile, check it out on steam and visit its website at https://www.strivingforlight.com