Platformers come in all shapes and sizes, with each one trying new things to stand out from one another. An indie title, called Adventure Lamp from Ryan Davis is a physics based platformer that does some creative ideas very well.
Does the title stand out among other indie platformers on the market and does its new concepts stand out?
The game follows an archaeologist named Simon, who is explores caves around him after getting caved-in. Just having his trusty hat and wits, he explores these hidden locations to find a way out all the while learning more about the place he is in. This set up is good and the story while not the central focus, is explained before each set of levels, so you get an idea about what is going on around you.
Story isn’t the main focus of the game and that is perfectly fine. But what is present is charming and enjoyable thanks to the solid presentation, which we will get to later.
Gameplay & Design
Adventure Lamp is deceptively simple; you can only jump and throw your hat. That is it and you would think that it would limit level design heavily. That is not the case, with challenge ramping up as you play through the many levels and encounter a number of fun gimmicks like switches that activate platforms you can go on, foes that can’t get killed with your hat for long and more. Some noteworthy mechanics include your hat having light properties, so when you are in levels that are dark, you can thrown your hat to distract foes with your light or toss your hat away from you to blend in with the darkness.
This leads to level design really playing with the games core mechanics and everything is linked to your hat. Simon can jump with hops by just tapping the button but holding it down makes him jump a lot higher, at the expense of his hat flinging forward in the direction you are jumping in an arc. This ties into the games physics systems, as your hat is an independent object from Simon. Because of these simple mechanics, the title greatly benefits from the strong level design.
The controls of the game feel tight on both Keyboard & Controllers. With the two button system, it leads to the game feeling ‘right’ on every set up on PC. Overall, the gameplay is very fun and thanks to level design that pushes the games mechanics, it offers a fair challenge.
The game has a great deal of content, as you have over 150 levels to play with each level taking two or five minutes to beat. Considering that, the lasting appeal of the game can be quite large if you take your time through the levels and try to get every Steam Achievement.
Presentation and Performance
The game has a simple look, with Simon and his foes having designs like boxes, circles and more. But it gives the game a clean look and with bright colors & detailed level backgrounds, the game’s art direction gives it a timeless look.
Considering I reviewed this title through the Steam version, performance is a big factor to consider for a game like this. Adventure Lamp has many options ensuring all computer configurations can run the title at a locked frame rate and ensures the games clean look comes through.
Story – 3.5 out of 5 / Gameplay & Design – 4 out of 5 / Replay Value – 4 out of 5 / Presentation & Performance – 4 out of 5
Adventure Lamp is an enjoyable platformer that does a lot right with strong core mechanics and enjoyable gameplay. The game’s story is simple but does its job well and the game lasts a long while if you take your time with the many levels it provides. Lastly, the presentation looks solid & the game runs on most computers perfectly. It is a very fun platformer that I can recommend for any fan of the puzzle/platformer genre.
Overall: 4 out of 5
The game was reviewed on the PC and a review code was provided by the games developer. The game is also releasing on the Nintendo Wii U in the future.