Developer Fat Gem to the rescue for all your nostalgia! Primal Light is a classic 2D platformer taking you back to the 16-bit era where you play as Krog, a mysterious blue creature in a red loincloth. This game has everything to take you back to old school experience, but is it enough?
What we liked!
- Visuals: This game really is a major throwback to the 16-bit era. The pixelated art style is truly beautiful. Discovering new enemies and surroundings was always a pleasure. I especially enjoyed the more dark vibe the game gave me. There’s no flashy lights or anything, just some muddy, darker colors around every corner.
- Abilities: The game starts out quite simple, but you can pick up abilities/upgrades along the way. For example, your moves are pretty limited in the beginning but you can unlock sliding at one point. Something I found really helpful, was the ‘Emblem of Ur’ charm. At the start, your enemies don’t have a health bar above their head, but this charm allowed you to display enemy health.
- Challenging gameplay: The Primal Light gameplay was really difficult, in my opinion. I can already tell you that you won’t get through the first level in one try. When you finish the first stage, you get a Steam achievement, and only 62% of all players got this badge already. So enough said there, huh. If you’re someone who gets frustrated when you’re not booking progress quickly, I don’t recommend this game. If you like a challenge, and you like trying, again and again, figuring out how to find the right way to progress, you’ll love Primal Light. The game also offers different difficulty settings to choose from, ranging from ‘relaxed’ to ‘veteran’ to ‘hardcore’. I found the relaxed one already quite difficult, but that could just be me sucking at platformers.
- Short: There is a total of 10 bosses to defeat. It won’t be for everyone, but the gameplay is about 3 hours if you’re okay at these types of games. I would like to believe I could do it in just 3 hours, but I really suck at difficult platformers and patience isn’t always my best quality. So, if you’re like me, it could take you twice as long, or longer. For me personally, the price tag is worth it, but if you’re really good at Primal Light, and you finish in 3 hours or less, I’m not sure you’ll feel like you get your money’s worth.
- Soundtrack: I like an upbeat or energetic soundtrack when playing platformers. Unfortunately, Primal Light doesn’t really offer this, it’s just a simple soundtrack. When writing this, I had to replay a little part, to remember what the sound even was. The game description says ‘hypnotic soundtrack’ but I just wasn’t really a big fan.
- Saving: I don’t really know how I feel about the saving. There is no manual saving, only saving points (taking the form of fireplaces). I understand this choice since the gameplay is made to be quite unforgiving. However, sometimes replaying the same part again and again got so annoying. You die at the very last spot before you can save again, and you have to start all over from the last fireplace. Ten times. Nope, did not enjoy that.
What we disliked
- I didn’t dislike anything about Primal Light, only had mixed feelings about some parts because this isn’t really my kind of game, but I get that platformer fans will love this game.
If you’re into classic 2D platformers, Primal Light might just be your next favorite game. The nostalgic feeling you get while playing, along with the challenging gameplay, makes Primal Light worth your while. The game isn’t anything ‘groundbreaking’, but it’s a fun little game in which the devs, two hobbyists with no game experience, obviously poured their hearts.
Head of PC team. PC, Switch, and Xbox game reviewer. Also a marketeer, concert and animal lover, and photographer in training 🙂