Developer / Publisher – Charm Games
Price – US $14.99 / EU €14.99 / UK £12.99
Release Date – October 2nd, 2018
Input – Tracked Motion Controllers
Play Area – Seated, Standing
Store – Steam
Reviewed on – Oculus Rift
Twilight Path is Charm Game’s spiritual successor to last years very well received game Form, which put the player in puzzle solving scenarios involving dreams and science. Twilight Path adopts a very similar formula only this time taking place in a spiritual world. A very brief prologue sets up the story with you stumbling across some magical items and transporting yourself to the Spirit Realm where it becomes your task to aid a few of the spirits looking for help and possibly save the realm from a very dire threat, all while trying to find your way home.
It’s tracked motion controllers for this one and you can play seated or standing as this is a stationary affair. There is no movement in Twilight Path except from teleporting from location to location, marked by flags that drop down when you have completed the puzzles in front of you. You can of course grab stuff with your hands, which typically involves handles, levers and rune marked stones with a bulk of the puzzles requiring you to move or place things in proper order. To aid you with task is a small stone you pick up at the game’s onset, which gives you ‘Spirit Vision’ (I have no idea if it’s actually called that, but I’m gonna roll with it!) which creates a small circle that acts as a window into an alternate realm. Clues may be hidden and only viewable by looking through the circle so if you get stuck or are unsure what to do, pulling that out will more often then not provide the clue you need to continue forward. To teleport or interact with items out of the range of your hands, you need to squeeze the triggers together to link up 2 halves of a yin-yang symbol whereupon you can target distant objects and trigger them or bring them close to you.
Presentation is the name of the game here and boy oh boy does this look good. The game takes place along and upon the Twilight Path which sounds pleasant enough, but the path is falling apart as the Spirit Realm slowly fades from existence. Right away you meet 2 spirits on a task to get to the spirit temple or something along those lines, and with your gifts, you assist them in clearing the road or just putting it back together. The Spirit realm is gorgeous with massive levels and a wonderful sense of scale. Whether you are beside the path, seemingly floating in the sky, in a huge cavern or facing monumental ruins, the surrounding visuals are breathtaking. You only meet a handful of character in the game and they do contain limited amounts of animation (one is a head on a skiff, the other is a small fire spirit who never leaves the spot he is in) though the larger spirits that show up all to briefly have much more flare and grandeur.
While the character animations may be on the slight side, they are fully realized by some great voice actors that more then make up for the characters limited visuals. The 2 spirits mentioned above accompany you on your journey, or rather you accompany them, clearing the path of whatever may be blocking it. When you move the entire environment, those moments look and sound amazing and even during the storied moments, the music that peppers this game fits great only adding to the near flawless presentation.
The puzzles in Twilight path are the focus of the game and for puzzle junkies, they will definitely feel a bit light. The puzzles are well thought out, look great and are very intuitive but for more hardcore players, they all might feel to easy. I don’t consider myself a genius, but I do like VR puzzle and escape room type games and the task you are required to perform are, for the most part, very simple. Some puzzles may just require you to make a similar motion with both hands, moving your fingers along beams of light, or just manipulating shapes so they match a patter or make a symbol. What Twilight Path does right though is rarely repeat it’s puzzles, so while they may be on a more casual side, they are always fresh and because of that, you are never bored by what the game asks of you.
Twilight Path feels like the kind of game you would demo to those new to VR, just to blow them away with the kinds of visuals the current generation of headsets are capable of. The story is a contained one, though is left open for more chapters, with the campaign taking just over an hour and half for myself. That may seem on the shorter side of things, but I look at it more as a game that knows when to quit and never wears out it’s welcome. If you are looking for a showcase piece for your VR collection, enjoy puzzles and fantastic worlds, then I think you’ll dig this!
What would I pay? $15 for this is great. The puzzles aren’t the most challenging, but the story is entertaining, the presentation is solid and from beginning to end I was never bored, and I really can’t ask for more then that!
Charm Games provided The VR Grid with a code for this title and, regardless of this review, we thank them for that!