Review of the VR game ‘Twilight Path’, where players must solve puzzles in order to progress through a series of levels. The game is missing purpose, but does have potential for future development.
Twilight Path is from the creators of FORM (2017), a well-received indie VR puzzle game. Twilight Path, with its whole new environment, tries to be more ambitious than its predecessor, yet it comes out as a rushed sequel.
Twilight Path begins with a brief prologue about a spirit world under siege by a cursed dragon demon before transporting you to the spirit world with little explanation, launching you into a linear string of puzzles that can be enjoyable but often feel arbitrary as you teleport from one puzzle node to the next.
Twilight Path puts out a more structured universe and introduces the player to a few individuals in an effort to infuse the game’s puzzle gameplay with fascinating context, whereas Charm Games’ previous product, FORM, had a more abstract presentation that relied and usually succeeded with dazzling visuals.
Unfortunately, it falls short on that front, as the characters are underdeveloped and nearly entirely devoid of player interaction, functioning mostly as a handy in-game setting for some voice acting. By the conclusion, the game tries to inject some action into the mix and elicit some emotion from the player following a climactic sequence, but it fails to create a sense of danger or urgency, and the character development required to make the player care about the outcome is lacking.
Twilight Path is left with only its riddles after failing in its too ambitious attempt at world creation. While there are a few unique ideas, FORM is heavily referenced. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, Twilight Path didn’t seem to have many unique or memorable problem ideas, and I didn’t have many “eureka” moments, which are common in puzzle games that require you to think outside the box.
Puzzles largely felt like one-off contraptions, despite being usually pleasant to interact with because to (usually) outstanding affordance design, FX, and SFX. Twilight Path doesn’t actually teach the player core principles that may be tested later in a difficult scenario, which is the essence of most games.
Twilight Path, despite its low price tag of $15, feels like it tries to do too much with its setting in the time provided, while failing to focus sufficiently on the player’s gameplay trip.
Twilight Path, according to Charm Games, serves as an introduction to the game’s setting, with more chapters planned in the future.
Twilight Path describes you as a human who has crossed over into the spirit realm, which is evidently a fairly rare occurrence. For some reason, you’ve gained many magical talents that allow you to interact with items from afar, change broken things into not-broken things, and teleport from one predetermined spot to the next.
The game’s entirely linear layout, along with node-based teleportation—which can transfer you hundreds of feet or more in a matter of seconds—makes it difficult to feel anchored in the game world, since you’re frequently left wondering where you are in respect to the rest of the environment.
While the game provides you with skills that should feel empowering on paper, they often feel more like a way to trigger planned scenarios. For example, early on in the game, several massive boulders obstruct a path. While you could use your force power to pick them up and move them off the track, you may instead use it to simply click and hold on certain action nodes on the boulders, causing them to explode after a few seconds (for some reason).
Other ‘puzzle’ components include clicking and holding on an obvious node for a few seconds as a massive broken object heals into its original shape. It would have been more empowering if I had been able to physically manipulate the massive components in order to reassemble the thing rather than simply starting a programmed motion with a trigger hold.
Twilight Path is a nice-looking game, however its environmental design is inconsistent. The first half of the game is set in a huge outdoor spirit realm setting that is fairly decent but lacking in personality. In the game’s second half, you’ll come across a massive spirit creature that’s amazingly detailed and animated for its size. After that, you enter internal regions that are far more detailed and occasionally awe-inspiring. Unfortunately, some of the game’s most intricately designed locations will only be accessible for a few minutes.
It’s completely comfortable, save for a few seconds when you’re riding on a slowly moving vehicle, because the game is entirely built on teleportation and doesn’t need you to move more than a step from your central place.
The game relies on cursors that are projected out into the world to employ your force strength at a distance. When I used the Vive, the cursors moved in an unintuitive way with my hands, making control a little less exact than it should be. I believe this was an attempt to avoid basic laser pointing input (which is commendable), but the result may have been more satisfying.
- vr for xbox
- best vr for pc