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The Town of Light
Score: 84%
ESRB: Mature
Publisher: Wired Productions
Developer: LKA
Media: Download/1
Players: 1
Genre: Adventure

Graphics & Sound:
The Town of Light is a psychological adventure game where you are trying to uncover the story of what happened to Renee, a 16 year old girl in 1942. I will go ahead and warn you right now, this game is not for the faint of heart. It has the possibility of triggering several bad things with its graphic depictions of, but not limited to, sex, rape, mental issues and very painful mental treatments of the past. If any of this will bother you, this is not the game for you!

You can choose to play The Town of Light in a variety of languages, listening to the vocals in English, Italian, or German and you can choose subtitles in English, Italian, German, French, Portuguese, or Spanish, but there is not a lot of audio overall. The majority of the game, you will be listening to creepy music and sound effects. You can hear the echoes of your footfalls in the empty hallways, youíll be disturbed by the rusty creak of a window moving in the breeze somewhere behind you and as a result, you will be creeped out waiting for something to jump out and get you, even though there are no monsters in the game.

You are told to adjust the brightness at the beginning so that you can "barely see the doll." You can adjust this at any time. If you make it too dark, it will be hard to find things, but too bright is also bad, especially in some of the black and white scenes, so I recommend playing with the brightness until you get it right for your screen. The graphics are well done, but that does cause a bit of a load time. Itís about a minute or so wait to start a chapter when you load the game. While youíre transitioning from chapter to chapter, they do a really good job of loading stuff in the background, so you really only notice the wait when you load up a save. I do wish you could make the text in the top right corner bigger, when you are reading something. It is impossible to read on a smaller TV unless you sit 2í away.

They were careful with details, like the reels that spin move from one reel to the other, like they would in real life. The time of day changes at random times and this causes weird shadows to be thrown on random places, which adds to the creepy feelings. The overall atmosphere is beyond creepy. The hospital has obviously been abandoned for a very long time. The whole place is crumbling and in places, you can see the sky where the ceiling should be, but you will find that the power still works, at times.

When you start up a new game, you will get a warning about the types of things the game can trigger before the game starts, but Iím going to warn you as well. This game has graphic images that may trigger uncomfortable feelings in some people. If you have issues with things like mental hospitals, rape, abuse, psychiatric issues, and more, this might not be the game for you. They do a really good job of making you feel for your character and taking you into her very disturbing past. After the warning and a short scene, The Town of Light opens in 1942 in a mental institution in Italy. You find yourself on a path with long-abandoned playground equipment lying between you and a giant building. Obviously, you have no other option than to explore the also long-abandoned, creepy building.

The Town of Light is loosely based on real events and places in the early 20th century. In this time period, mental institutions were a popular place to put people who just didnít conform to societal standards. They did not have a lot of the modern drugs or therapies that we do today, so conditions werenít always favorable to live in. Through flashbacks, you will get to see some of what life might have been like in some of these places.

You will be playing as Renee, a girl who entered an institution at 16 years old. She obviously has some mental issues, but youíll have to wander around to remember what her problems might have been and what might have caused them. In your wanderings, youíll have to deal with her creepy doll, Charlotte, at least for a bit. The game will autosave at the end of each chapter and you can go back and replay any chapter at any time. If you get lost on where to go (or forget), you can tap the touchpad for help. Itís not always helpful, but usually it will give you some kind of clue as to where to go next. All of the little things, like Charlotte, help trigger more and more pieces of Reneeís past. If you keep going, you will find them all. It shouldnít take you many hours to complete, Iíd say 5 hours on the top end.

There isnít a difficulty setting in The Town of Light because there is no way to make the game easier or harder. There are no monsters that you need to defeat, nor anything else that will make the game difficult. The only thing you have to do is find your way around. This can be difficult at times because youíre not certain where to go, but the help button will usually assist. I also recommend that you get familiar with where the layout of the hospital maps are. They will tell you to go find a specific room and those maps will make your life much easier! Basically just roam around and you will complete the game, if you can handle it mentally.

What can be a little difficult is trying to get all of the trophies. The ending of the game is always the same, so you canít trigger a happy ending, but there are different paths to get there. You will be asked a series of questions in some chapters and how you answer them will put you on a different path. There are four possible paths for chapter 21, so it might be hard to find them all. Luckily, you will not have to play the entire game over just to get these different paths if you donít want to. You will only need to go back and replay that chapter. Also, there are trophies for finding random things and places. You simply have to wander all around in the chapters that you are allowed to, if you want to find them. Itís not hard, but it will take you a little more time.

Game Mechanics:
The controls in The Town of Light are relatively easy to use, but they can be frustrating at times. You will use (LS) to move around and (RS) to move the camera. (X) will interact with objects that you can move, pick up, etc. While this seems easy, there are some annoying times. For example, when you have to carry Charlotte around, she is in your field of vision, making it hard to see. Since you have her in both hands, you canít use your flashlight either. Granted, on a second playthrough, this isnít so bad because you know where to take her so it only takes a minute or so. Also, it would have been handy to be able to move faster. Itís not that there are any monsters to fight, but it was frustrating to be forced to walk so slowly sometimes. You can climb stairs quicker than you can walk, if that makes any sense.

The Town of Light is not so much a game as it is a story that you control the path through. It is a very disturbing tale, but if you like psychological terror, you will love the story. Even without monsters to kill you, youíll be jumping out of your skin waiting on something to get you. While The Town of Light is not a game for everyone, it is definitely a game that people looking for that genre will love. If you think you can handle it, check out The Town of Light for yourself.

-Cyn, GameVortex Communications
AKA Sara Earl

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