Oscura Lost Light

Oscura: Lost Light is a game developed by Chocolate Liberation Front and published by Surprise Attack.
Chocolate Liberation Front is an entertainment company focused on the development and production of content for television, online and video games. Oscura: Lost Light is the second game of the Oscura series, although it acts as a prequel for the first Oscura (Oscura: Second Shadow).

Reviewed on PC
Available Platforms: iOS, Android, Mac, Windows, Linux
Release Date: 02/24/15
Developer: Chocolate Liberation Front
Publisher: Surprise Attack

Oscura: Lost Light

The Driftlands, a series of floating islands, are kept safe from the darkness by a great lighthouse. But the lightkeeper is growing old, and that’s where we come in.

We are Oscura, the apprentice lightkeeper. Keeping the light lit at all times is a really important yet boring job, so one day, against our master’s orders, we climb to the top of the lighthouse to touch it’s main element, the Aurora Stone, which immediately shatters, and sends its pieces flying into other islands.

The darkness, led by former lightkeeper apprentice Marvro, starts to spread everywhere. The Driftlands’ only hope is for Oscura to search for the pieces of the Aurora Stone and fix the lighthouse before everything falls prey to darkness.

GAMEPLAY

Oscura is a puzzle-platform game (although there aren’t that many puzzles in it.) We play by following a linear path, avoiding enemies and traps — because the whole world is out to kill you.

The ‘puzzle’ part comes in the form of four powers you get throughout the game: Creation (which you use to bring up platforms that are otherwise invisible on the screen), Destruction (just for destroying walls), Gravity (which makes you leap upwards and walk in the ceilings) and Time (which slows things down.)
Thing is, you can’t choose between these 4, as each level has its own powers, which you must get first in each level, so the solution to every puzzle is pretty much handed to you.

About the whole ‘world out to kill you’ thing: there’s a million ways for you to die in this game. Spikes, enemies, purple light (yeah, purple light is bad), rolling blades, EVERYTHING in the game is made to kill you.

And you will die, a lot. I had a lot of ‘rage quit’ moments while playing this game. You do spawn at the nearest checkpoint every time you die, and there are plenty of checkpoints, so it’s just a matter of trial and error. There are a few unfair deaths, tho, like when barely touching the tip of a blade or of the goddamn purple light gives you an instant death.

VISUALS

Nothing great, actually. You’re a black silhouette, and so is everything that can kill you — except (you guessed it) purple light. The background does contain some color, and also some more black. While every level is supposed to be a different environment, visually it doesn’t feel like it. Only the background color changes, but aside from that every level looks exactly the same. Then again, this is a game designed first for iOS and Android so none of this bothered me too much.

SOUND AND MUSIC

Not too much to talk about this. The music is really repetitive, but I didn’t mind this, because the tracks are great. The team did a really great job composing the music for each area of the game.

Oscura is not a bad game, but it’s just not ready to leave the app market yet. Dying a lot is frustrating in this game, but I would have appreciated if they had approached that aspect old school-style (limited lives, less checkpoints), or if they had in any away made beating a level more rewarding — a good example is Super Meat Boy, which did it better even despite making you start from the beginning of the level each time you died. Oscura also has no replay value (unless you are an achievement hunter.) Granted, there are scores that depend on how you beat each level (how many glowing things you got, how long you took to beat it and how many times you died), but getting the highest scores isn’t really worth the trouble.

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