Light Tracer - PSVR Review

Light-Tracer-TOP-700x428 Light Tracer - PSVR Review

A Zen Puzzler Hybrid Experience

  • System: PlayStation VR
  • Publisher: Oasis Games
  • Developer: Void Dimensions
  • Release Date: Sep. 26, 2017

Who it Caters to

As so many VR games so far, Light Tracer will appeal to anybody who is into the VR experience in general. Besides that, Light Tracer is a platformer/puzzler hybrid with some action that will hook fans of both genres with its beautiful graphics, unique VR mechanics -which require two move controllers- and clever puzzles. It is a challenging game that is easy to pick up and put down to come back to later, so it’s great for those looking to work their brain, while the pleasing graphics and calming music make it a very relaxing experience as well.

Oasis Games, known for its blockbuster online RPG Legend Online and Naruto Online, have put out a few VR titles since the PSVR’s launch, with their newest offering being Light Tracer, which is setting the bar for VR puzzlers to come as a unique multi-genre VR experience.

What to Expect

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In Light Tracer, the player leads an adorable princess to the top of an enigmatic tower to help her save her ailing people by using two Move controllers - one to wield a Light Staff to guide her and the other to move the world around to see better and interact with objects to open a safe path for her. As mentioned before, the game combines platform-style movement and clever puzzles with unique character controls and beautiful artwork.

One must direct the princess through eight chapters with five levels each using jumping skills, precise timing, and strategic attacks using the Princess’ sword, or clever avoidance to get around enemies. But you must also keep moving the world around, as the answer to some puzzles lies in how you see things; and if you can’t see where the princess should go, you can’t guide her there!

The controls may be difficult to adapt to at first, but that’s usually the case with innovative VR games. It is a developing technology after all! It’s easy to catch on, though, and having both hands involved while analyzing stages and challenges really pulls you into the gorgeous and cleverly designed game for hours, even if you do have to do a lot of camera readjusting.

LIGHT TRACER – Launch Trailer | PS VR


Light-Tracer-TOP-700x428 Light Tracer - PSVR Review
The story in Light Tracer is pretty simple, seems it’s really just there as an excuse to guide this little girl around and solve some puzzles. When we first start the game, the princess says she needs to climb the tower to help her ailing people. Not much information is given about the nature of the illness or what exactly she needs to do to save her people. The princess does, however, tell you that even though she doesn’t know you, she has no choice but to trust you. And so, you are in charge of helping this chibi princess get to the top, beat enemies, solve puzzles, and collect crystals while you’re at it. As you continue on, more is revealed about the princess’ efforts and your relationship to her as this god-like being.

The princess is really the only character in the game besides the enemies, which vary according to each stage; like golems in the rocky stage, beetles and bees in the garden stage, and so on. While the princess is the most adorable thing you’ve ever repeatedly sent to its death, the enemies’ design is also detailed and fits in perfectly with the rest of the world.

Much like in old platformers, the story is only there as a setup for all the stages you have to beat and to give you some sort of closure when you finally beat the last boss. Keep in mind this game is mainly a puzzler, so consider yourself lucky there is even a story at all. Puzzlers don’t usually need a storyline, so Light Tracer sure benefitted from its hybrid nature in that regard. There may not be too much to the story, but the experience makes it so you don’t really wonder why things are the way they are, that’s not what this game is about. It’s about an immersive, enjoyable, challenging puzzler experience.


Light-Tracer-TOP-700x428 Light Tracer - PSVR Review
As mentioned before, two Move controllers are required to play Light Tracer. With the right one, you control a staff with a beam of light with which -by pressing the T button- you tell the princess where to go. At the beginning, you can’t attack enemies, you just have to cleverly avoid them, which can be done by timing or jumping. Jumping is also done with the right controller by pressing X. At first, this is not the easiest task and the princess plummeted to her death multiple times before we finally got the hang of how to jump and direct her at the same time. You see, when ready to jump from one platform to another, you must both make her jump by pressing X, and continue to aim the light beam to the spot you want the princess to land. If you press too hard, or don’t aim directly at the next platform because you’re watching her jump, or just don’t time the jump right, she’s not going to make it. Luckily, she quickly respawns and wipes all guilt away with a cheery “I’m ok!”. Though the occasional “I’ll never give up!” after several deaths actually made us feel a bit worse. After a few levels, you unlock the princess’ ability to use a sword and slash enemies instead of just avoiding them. This is done with the central Move button on the right controller and it really makes things easier when it comes to enemies.

The left Move controller’s trigger serves to grip the tower and rotate it, move it farther or closer, or to perform any other necessary maneuvers in order to get the best angle to solve each puzzle. There are also certain items you can move around on the platforms to assist the princess. A wooden crate can help hold down a button or close a gap, and there are some platforms that you can rotate, move up, down, or left to right to help get the princess get through obstacles or simply from one side of a stage to the other.

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The levels get more and more difficult as you go, with little bubbles appearing with info every now and then when you unlock a new ability or need to use an ability for the first time. This doesn’t make the game any easier, it just notifies you about what the princess is able to do now. Something that makes Light Tracer such a chill game is that, as you go, you hit checkpoints where the princess will now respawn until she hits the next one. This helps because it’s less frustrating when you keep dropping the princess to her death at certain tough spots without having to relive the hell you went through just to get there.

The first hurdle is learning how to jump off bouncy water/slime platforms which give you added height to reach farther places. As mentioned before, there is a lot involved in jumping and it is especially difficult on these jellies, even more so when there are golems throwing rocks at the poor little girl at the same time! Then there’s slippery ice, which will send the princess sliding to her doom with one wrong step, unless you pay attention and only let her slide on ice when there is some regular ground on the other end of the platform, or if you can put an item in her way to help keep her from sliding off.

This constant ascent in difficulty continues and reaches the point where you can control gravity in an upside down world, and a world with mechanical puzzles that are even harder to beat. This all goes for the bosses as well. The first boss requires a couple of easy moves, but after that, each boss requires many attempts and the princess will more than likely have to say “I’m ok!” a few dozen times as you go up the levels. But the boss puzzles are fun and usually more challenging than their stages, as they usually combine recently learned mechanics with some new idea or twist that you need to really think of to identify and successfully beat each boss.

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Speaking of bosses, it’s never really stated what you need to do to beat them, which makes sense, as it is part of the puzzle to figure that out. However, there is also no sign or hint as to how close you are to beating it, nor whether what you’re doing is correct or not. By about the tenth time we hit one of the bosses, we started wondering if maybe we weren’t doing the right thing, but we were. Though we lost count of how many hits that boss needed in the end.

After repeatedly moving the tower around to get a good view, the whole things ends up in an awkward position. This is easy to fix by pressing X on the left controller, which centers the camera. Unfortunately, it’s usually not a very helpful angle and sometimes it all ends up a bit to the side anyway. We did a LOT of camera adjusting.

As far as the art goes, the game is beautifully designed. The levels are fantastical and beautiful with quirky characters as enemies, and every single platform is unique onto itself with soft music that perfectly matches each level but never makes you feel stressed or pressured, making the experience a calming one where you can focus on the tasks at hand.

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The animation is fluid and natural, and the princess even strikes kawaii poses now and then while waiting for you to decide on where to send her. As for character design, each type of terrain has its own type of enemy and they are all cute and quirky. And the princess is freaking adorable! She’s the princess of moe and you want nothing in the world but to guide her safely to where she needs to go. The princess’ default outfit is fitting of her role and is very cute and detailed. There are also other outfits you can purchase for her by collecting all the crystals strewn about the levels. There are three princess dresses and one panda suit. Yes, you read that correctly. A panda suit!

Of course, that’s what we want her in, but it is also the most expensive costume at 2500 crystals. T_T The crystals are easy to get at first, but later it becomes a life-or-death choice when there are multiple moving platforms and enemies and 10 crystals to be had over a gaping hole in the center of the platform. You may not be able to afford it at first, but as you get better and better at the puzzles and timing your moves, it becomes easier to accumulate crystals and thus dress the princess however you want!

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There are also no varying modes of difficulty, and everything you cover stays unlocked, so your only choices when starting up are “New Game” or “Continue”. In the latter, you can continue exactly where you left off, or you can go back and replay some of your favorite levels, or just go back for the crystals you missed! (Yay panda suit!)

Honey's Gameplay Consensus:

Light-Tracer-TOP-700x428 Light Tracer - PSVR Review
The innovative controls can be a bit hard to get used to at first, but they are intuitive overall and bring an extra level of difficulty to the puzzler, and isn’t the challenge why we play these games in the first place?

However, there is a recurrent issue with camera centering, as with most VR games. In the case of Light Tracer, moving the tower around too much will eventually have you playing in a completely twisted position, with your legs to one side and your torso twisted all the way to the opposite side. That’d be ok if the centering option gave us a convenient perspective, but, usually, we had to grab and adjust the tower again, which only brought it back to the uncomfortable position it was in, to begin with.

Another downside is that you never know how much damage you’re dealing to the bosses. You just stay hopeful and keep doing what you think is right until the boss drops (but really, we think it was hitting them in increments of 3s that did the job?!). A little counter or some other sort of measure would be great to reference to but we digress.

All that said, it was truly rewarding when we finally were able to beat the stages we had the most trouble with (those damn jellies!!!), or that "aha!" moment when you realize how to beat that pesky boss or the perfect combo of moves to get through a level. If you enjoy puzzlers, you will probably immerse yourself in Light Tracer like we did. It can easily absorb you for hours with its beautiful graphics, melodic, relaxing music and challenges that won’t easily let you go. And even after you uncover the end of the story, you’ll want to go back and challenge the puzzles over and over.

With eight chapters of obstacles and challenges, beautiful art, clever puzzles that are each more difficult than the last, unique controls and good music, Light Tracer cannot be accused of being repetitive or boring. If you can get over the camera angle adjusting, Light Tracer will hook you.

Honey's Pros:

  • Uniquely designed levels that increase in difficulty and challenge the player’s problem-solving skills, reaction time and coordination without ever becoming repetitive.
  • Beautiful graphics, design, and music that make it a delight to sit and tackle the puzzles for hours.
  • Immersive controls that pull you into the game completely.
  • No time limits let you leisurely tackle each stage.

Honey's Cons:

  • Uncomfortable camera angles are hard to fix, even with the centering feature.
  • No hints as to bosses’ HP makes it hard to know if you’re doing the right thing.

Honey's Final Verdict:

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Light Tracer is the kind of game we like to unwind and relax with when we just want to get away from it all. It’s like a relaxing mini vacation. Until you get stuck somewhere and you can’t hear the princess scream “Aaaaaahhh~~~~~” one more time or you’ll be the one screaming. Then, it may be good to take a break. (Not that that happened or anything).

It delicately balances the dexterity and coordination required for platformers with the brain-power needed for a straight puzzle game. But, unlike games like Little Big Planet, for example, Light Tracer is calming. It’s not a race, there’s no time limit, no special side quests to keep in mind. Just your brain and hands working in perfect sync to help that little princess save her people. And the fact that it’s VR really helps immerse you in the puzzles and in your own mind as you are as in-the-moment as one could ever be while playing a game. It really is a zen experience!

Even with the minor camera angle issues, it’s an easy recommendation for any fans of puzzles and/or platformers, as everyone can find something to love and something challenging in this game. It only takes up a bit over a gigabyte of your storage and it’s sure worth the $15 price tag if you appreciate a good challenge and a cute moe princess.

Have you played Light Tracer yet? What did you think? Share with us in the comment section!


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Author: Lizzy Nyanko

An otaku as far as I can remember. I grew up playing video games, watching anime in Spanish in Mexico where I grew up, and then was a member of both anime clubs at UTEP for my entire university life when I moved to Texas. I love going to cons, I used to cosplay (always hoping to get back into it), and I got to live in Japan for 2 years and be an otaku there! It was literally a dream come true! Now back in the US, I love being a writer and editor for Honey’s. It’s a great chance to keep up with all the latest anime each season and up to date with all otaku news. And without our readers, that wouldn’t be possible so, thank you for being a part of our hive!!

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