Lantern, a recently released game by indie developer Storm in a Cup, is an exquisitely beautiful game. Lantern is an indie adventure and open world game. Believe it or not, you actually play as a lantern. The main goal and purpose of this lantern is to restore color to the dull and colorless Chinese landscape. It is unclear as to why the land has turned into this dreary state, but it is your sole responsibility to bring back the vibrant colors and life that once covered this land.
With the lively colors and the soothing cultural music and sounds, Lantern is stimulating for both the eyes and the ears. As you gravitate and lead the lantern throughout the Chinese mountains and villages, there are secrets and hidden objectives throughout the different levels for you to discover. The game is very smooth and relaxing, it’s a great game to play if you want to wind down and forget all about the worries you might have.
There is a level for each of the four seasons. Each season has its own personal layout, architecture, and secrets. You must cover all grounds in each season to unlock the next level, which can become very tedious. The lantern you play as does have two power-ups that you may use every once in a while which assists you to complete your tasks much faster. One power-up allows you to move the lantern at a faster rate for roughly 30 seconds. And the other power-up can be used to return color to a large radius surrounding your lantern. Each of these powers can be used every 30 seconds to one minute.
There isn’t much of a storyline when it comes to this game. There are a couple cut scenes but unfortunately, they do not give you enough information for you to fully understand why the land has turned gloomy.
When it comes to game mechanics, a major drawback is that it is very difficult to use a mouse and keyboard. On the flip side, Lantern is compatible with a controller, which I found to be a better way to play this game. Lantern was released to be used with Virtual Reality which could be the best way to play this vibrantly shaded free-form game.
Overall, Lantern is a very relaxing a gorgeous game to play. The colors and art that is used for this indie game is absolutely stunning. I find it very satisfying to color mountains, grasslands and small villages using a lantern. But I also found it to become very repetitive after playing it for a couple hours straight. I advise players to only play for a short period of time. Another aspect the game lacks, is the ability to save your progress through a level. If you do not finish a level completely and end the game, you must start the long extensive level from the beginning. It takes roughly an hour to fully complete one level. Don’t expect to receive a storyline from this game either. This game is solely meant to be aesthetically appealing, which indeed it is.
I really did enjoy the artwork and soothing gameplay. I played this game at the end of my evenings to help me wind down and relax my mind before turning in for the night. If you’re looking for a game that looks good and doesn’t take a lot of brain capacity to play, I advise you to play Lantern, you will not be disappointed. To get the full effect of the atmosphere and layout of this game, it is best to play it on a VR headset. When completing each level, you get a sense of accomplishment and gratification and because of this and this game’s visual aesthetics, I give Lantern an 8/10.
Here is the Lantern Launch Trailer:
Lantern is now available on PC (Steam) with support for both Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.