Fantastic fantasy four-way fling – and family-friendly fun

Just escaped a cave of dragons? This is what you've been missing

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Family friendly fantasy frolics

I play Aurora, a puckish, flame-haired princess of Austria, looking a lot like Studio Ghibli's Ponyo. Appearing to the world to be dead, Aurora travels like an apparition through the mystical surroundings of Lemuria. She is given the task of searching for the lost sun and moon in order to be returned to the despairing King.

The refined character models show great attention to detail and monsters swoop through the surroundings like threatening paper cutouts from a Lotte Reiniger animation.

Aurora floats around just like The Light Princess in the Tori Amos musical and this movement adds to the ethereal feeling of the game. The dialogue is recounted in poetry and prose much like a musical and the game benefits from Coeur de Pirate’s brilliant otherworldly score.

Aurora is accompanied by a sprite named Igniculus, a small ball of blue flame – reminiscent of Calcifer from Howl’s Moving Castle – that can be controlled by the right stick or a second player. Igniculus helps me to blind enemies, so I don't have to fight them or he slows the enemies in combat and heals me.

Child of Light – Igniculus

Burning ambition: Igniculus, the blue ball of flame, stays close to Aurora

I found that slowing down the enemies is key to combat. Meeting characters as I travel through Lemuria, such as happy and sad Pierrots and my favourite Robert the medieval archer mouse – straight out of Mouse Guard – are just a few of the honourable escorts.

Child of Light’s turn-based combat is the weakest part of this game. Albeit interesting and based on a time bar – where you can knock back your enemies chance to attack – it can stretch out for a considerable length of time. I can imagine players of a younger age getting bored with the constant to and fro.

Child of Light – Fireball

Fireball combat – click for a larger image

Switching characters for the best kind damage against different enemies is vital. I had an especially long battle against a Griffin and to shadow women, that seemed it would never end until I swapped into the right character. I found the puzzles diverting and enjoyable, such as moving light and shapes onto the correct symbols to open a door, and Aurora entering a school room and giving the teacher an apple in exchange for a shovel, but where to dig? (no spoilers).

This is a game that has had some significant feminine input from the likes of Brie Code, the Ubisoft lead programmer for Child of Light. The result is an all-round female friendly fantasy game that’s also an innovative piece of art. Some might argue that the game play is secondary to the aesthetic but I disagree, as I feel they make a diverting combination.

Bricks and clicks

Universal appeal is prevalent in the comedic fantasy revelry embedded in LEGO: The Hobbit, and making me snigger is something Travellers Tales does splendidly. When I was about seven, my dad would force us to go camping in Scotland and to soothe the midge bites at night my sister would recite The Hobbit from memory. This is the level of dedication my family has to Tolkien.

Lego The Hobbit

OK girls, sit down and I'm going to test you reading The Hobbit from memory

The basis of my lifelong love of everything fantasy stems from this introduction to the world of middle earth and The Hobbit deserves a decent gaming adaptation. The Peter Jackson films continue to do justice to this awesome source material and I'm glad to say Travellers Tales has produced one of the best LEGO games so far.

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Official: European members prefer to fondle Apple iPads
Only 7 of 50 parliamentarians plump for Samsung Galaxy S
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Space Commanders rebel as Elite:Dangerous kills offline mode
Frontier cops an epic kicking in its own forums ahead of December revival
Intel's LAME DUCK mobile chips gobbled by CASH COW
Chipzilla won't have money-losing mobe unit to kick about anymore
First in line to order a Nexus 6? AT&T has a BRICK for you
Black Screen of Death plagues early Google-mobe batch
prev story


Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
The Heartbleed Bug: how to protect your business with Symantec
What happens when the next Heartbleed (or worse) comes along, and what can you do to weather another chapter in an all-too-familiar string of debilitating attacks?