On the surface, Candleman might seem like an immediate write-off. An anthropomorphised candle isn’t, after all, one of the most immediately engaging or relatable video game characters – it’s just, well, a candle. But to disregard Candleman without giving it a fair shot would be a mistake, as this is a genuinely enjoyable platformer with a wonderfully mysterious atmosphere.
You take on the role of a cute little candle with the unique ability to burn its wick at will (though only for a maximum time of 10 seconds, which is indicated by the wax melting from its body). On a journey of discovery, you’ll traverse a series of levels split into chapters, with each chapter depicting particular themes or gameplay mechanics.
The levels are near enough pitch black, with minimal sources of light from start to finish. So naturally, you’ll need to light the Candleman’s wick to illuminate your path and reach the end goal. As you progress, you can also light inanimate candles scattered along the way, which will help tremendously if you’re running low on wax.
With only 10 seconds worth of light at your disposal, it’s vital to use it sparingly as you make your way across giant chain links, floating flowers, rotten planks of wood, and more. You can light the way for as long as you like within the 10-second timeframe, but we found it best to simply tap Y to emit a short burst of light, giving you a brief, but enlightening glimpse of the path ahead.
With gameplay and visuals are not too dissimilar to Little Nightmares, Candleman could almost pass as a horror title, but this isn’t quite the case. There’s nothing to really threaten your life other than the odd trap and bottomless pit, and whilst it’s certainly dark, it’s filled with brilliant flashes of vibrant light and abstract shapes, making the game really quite beautiful to behold at times.
Unfortunately, however, it’s also an incredibly easy experience, and despite the various puzzles you’ll find scattered throughout the game, there’s very little here that will prove too strenuous. But if that’s the kind of experience you’re specifically after, then Candleman is a worthy addition to your Switch library, offering a relaxing gameplay experience with ethereal visuals that will keep you busy for several hours.