In the day and age of mobile gaming, (especially now with the Nintendo Switch), people are now more than ever diving into digital games. Wadjet Eye Games‘s most recent release on PC last year, Shardlight, has finally made its way to a much more mobile platform and it couldn’t have been a more perfect fit. Had I not played it on my iPhone 7 prior to writing this review, I don’t believe that I would have liked it as much as I did. The game is a point-and-click adventure revolving around a girl named Amy Wellard who has contracted an illness known as Green Lung. In order to earn a lottery ticket for a chance to win a dose of a life saving vaccine, she must take on dangerous jobs.
The job we find ourselves in at the start of the game leads Amy to an underground resistance group that oppose those that deal the lottery tickets. The story keeps you going for a bit as you sit through the tremendous amount of dialogue and the incredibly well done voice acting; but you can’t help really acknowledging only that.
Like most point and click adventures, the game has difficulty trying to get players to figure out exactly how to move forward. I found myself getting stuck pretty early on in the game, only to finally figure out twenty minutes later because the next puzzle/plot point was far too obscure for me to have figured out. Of course, it’s difficult to judge a game just because I might not be very good at it; but, Shardlight does also suffer from a few other factors that pairs it with your average action-adventure mobile game.
The entire game is fueled with a melancholy that never seems to break for any reason, despite the game being so frustrating at points that you really feel like some kind of comic relief needs to be involved. The game is somber, but it was definitely noticeable that it was just that and makes every character minus Amy seem very two dimensional. Of course, as NPC’s, you can’t expect much; however, dialogue can sometimes feel similar between characters and lack of much else begins to take a toll on the player’s interest when playing for several hours.
Shardlight provides beautiful landscapes and incredible quality in voice acting, but fails to deliver as much more than your average action-adcventure point and click. The protagonist, Amy, is a strong female lead and I believe definitely deserves a second shot at a different story within the Shardlight universe. Despite that, the game seems to be lacking in everything that makes it shine above all else, forcing it to stand in the shadow of Wadjet Eye Games’s previous release Technobabylon.
Released on March 8, 2017
Developed and Published by Wadjet Eye Games
Reviewed on iOS
Check out the trailer for Shardlight below: