We’re always searching for games to play together that are fun, cooperative, and quick to pick-up and put down. We had this in our Steam library for quite some time and never had a chance to try it out until recently. Quite frankly, we’re smitten!

We have a laptop connected to our living room TV, so it’s great for us to be able to cuddle together on the sofa with a wireless keyboard and experience this game together! Here are the top 5 things we like about Child of Light.

#1. It’s truly cooperative

The cooperative element in lots of games oftentimes feel like an afterthought, something just throw-in as an extra feature. However, Child of Light, playable as a single-player adventure is a lot of fun when played cooperatively. One player controls the titular character, Aurora, on the keyboard (or game controller) while the other, using the mouse (or a separate game controller), controls Igniculus, the adorable, companion whisp.

Granted, Aurora calls most of the shots, but Igniculus’ abilities like healing, blinding enemies, and collecting restorative orbs are absolutely vital in getting through the game successfully and unscathed. He (?) is also an important element in puzzle-solving. As we were playing through, we couldn’t help but think how overwhelming it can be trying to do both at the same time if we were to play the game single-player!

The dynamic is fun, very different for each character, and creates a shared sense of victory during the more difficult parts of the game.

 

#2. The art and music are beautiful

The game feels like you’ve been absorbed into a beautifully-illustrated fantasy tale. The music beautifully accents the mood. It’s never distracting. In two words, we’d say, “perfectly nuanced.”

The setting is so lush and gorgeous that it’s actually really fun exploring the world. This is a pretty amazing accomplishment considering it’s essentially a 2-D side scroller. However, you’re given so much freedom of movement that it’s never a chore getting from point A to point B. We’ve gotten lost several times but always found something wonderful through the exploration process.

 

#3. It isn’t too violent

Man, video games have come a long way since the original Mortal Kombat which looks so tame by today’s standards. While there is a battle system for the game, it isn’t excessively violent (which is important in case our little one wakes up and watches while we play).

The battle system also rewards strategy and cunning. It’s pretty simple to pick-up but rewards experimentation into the deeper elements of the system.

 

#4. Familiar themes without traditional gender roles

We love how Aurora grows and matures as the story progresses (Henry particularly likes how connected she is to her father … wonder why). She is feminine without being typecast as the helpless little girl who doesn’t know better. She comes-off immediately likable and multifaceted in a way that keeps us coming back and wanting more. All of the characters we’ve encountered so far have been wonderful, interesting, and a joy to get to know!

 

#5. It’s easy to pick-up and play

We have a 19-month old, and we generally don’t like playing video games when she’s awake, especially when she wants our attention. Because of this, we pretty much only play when she’s asleep. However, as all parents know, there’s nothing scarier than a sleeping baby, so we need a game that we can pick-up easily and stop at the drop of a dime or, in our case, a wake-up cry.

Child of Light is just that. We can pause at just about any time, and the save system is very forgiving (and automatic!) which allows us to simply enjoy the game around our schedule.

 

Bottom line: Play it!

This was such a welcome surprise. It checks-off all of the boxes for us and came at a great time in our daughter’s growth and development.