I love it when I find an indie game at a show I had no idea was on the horizon.
Sparklite was one of those finds for me at PAX East this year. A gorgeous and nostalgic roguelike game I somehow missed completely in the lead up to PAX East, Sparklite might only be in early development, but it is showing a TON of potential already.
Adventure across the world as Ada, a genius engineer who uses novel gadgets and gizmos to solve puzzles and take down foes. Invent new gear using the spoils gained from your exploration and defeat the gremlins before they extract the last of the world’s sparklite.
Sparklite is immediately nostalgic. The art style, the music, the controls; it all is incredibly evocative of the classics like Zelda. That’s intentional, as the developers of Sparklite are crafting an “approachable roguelike”, combining that classic charm of classic video games, and melding it with the randomized, procedural content of modern roguelikes. In many ways, it felt like a blending of Flinthook and Zelda, which is in no way a bad combination in my opinion.
The demo began with you crash landing your aircraft and waking up in the wreckage. You hear a brief crackle of static before picking up a radio which promises answers and aid. Salvaging what you can from the wreckage, you piece together your first weapon and head out into the wild. As this is a rogue like, every new area was randomly generated, and I ran into a few obstacles that I couldn’t tackle or overcome: challenges to be prepared for in the future. I had an easy time dealing with the slimes I ran into, but met my end at the hands of a goblin after exploring three or four areas. Suddenly, a great grappling claw came down about my body….
I then awoke on a floating sky village, the game’s hub. There were very clearly a ton of different NPC’s to talk to, a ton of different shops and workbenches to fund and build, and a cornucopia of different options befitting the best of roguelike games.
To me, it seems clear that Sparklite is going to offer a charming story and world to explore that’ll be different every time you play. It is still early in development, but the main sense of progression and advancement that they are building in the game, outside the sky city, surrounds invention. You’ll invent all sorts of gadgets, weapons and tools as you progress through the game that will let you reach new heights, dispatch new enemies and find new treasures.
Sparklite is still early in development, and Red Blue Games, a three-person studio based out of Durham, NC, founded by twin brothers Edward and Lucas, are keeping things tight to their chest. However, from the small slice I played at PAX East 2018, I can safely say it’s on our radar and I’m eagerly awaiting more information.