Projection: First Light is a game I’ve been looking forward to sinking my teeth into for a while now. Not only did it look unique and utterly gorgeous, but it’s also being published by Sydney games company, Blowfish Studios. There’s always something just that tad bit more special about playing a homegrown, independent game. So Projection First Light ticked quite a few boxes for me even before I got my hands on the demo!
Projection: First Light is a puzzle-platforming adventure that sees you play as a little shadow puppet, Greta, as she traverses around a world of shadows and silhouettes. Greta is too tiny to jump very far, so there is a glowing orb that assists you on your journey. This orb, when rotated, turns into different black shapes. For example, if a large box is standing in your way, you can move the orb so that it forms a platform just the right shape and gradient for her to maneuver herself over it. Manipulating this orb was the main focus of the demo – positioning it just right so that little Greta could jump roof tops, across deathly drops and up balconies.
Visually, this game is stunning. Its mythological inspiration is highly apparent and its use of shading really brings a feeling of magic and beauty that made me feel like I was traversing through a picture book. The settings include Indonesia, China and London. The latter obviously has a very different feel. Whilst traversing through Asia, you encounter gorgeous ornate structures and luscious silhouetted tree-filled backgrounds. When the action moves to London however, the shift is very noticeable. It is darker, more claustrophobic. The orbs now help you traverse along interiors rather than landscapes, with platforms and spiky traps added as obstacles. I really liked this shift; it made the Asian settings seem even more beautiful and the change in mood and gameplay from one location to the other highlighted industry vs. nature.
Projection: First Light definitely seems like a “podcast” game: one that you can play whilst listening to a podcast (Like Checkpoint!) or some tunes. I even played this whilst talking to my girlfriend over the phone (and laughing whenever I fell back down after spending quite a while getting the orb positioning just right to scale the top of a building) which is something that I can’t usually do when playing heavily narrative/combat games. It’s chill, it’s stunning and I’m definitely excited to explore more of Greta’s adventure when it releases in the next few weeks!
Projection: First Light has been available via Apple Arcade since September of 2019, but is releasing on PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC on September the 29th 2020. As part of PAX Online 2020, a demo is available to see this game for yourself, as well as tons more up-and-coming indies. Stay tuned to Checkpoint Gaming for more highlights of our favourite indie picks!