The Game Tutor Grades Final Light: The Prison

Now the roguevania genre as I am going to call it has seen quite a surge in recent year with Dead Cells really standing as the stalwart of this genre.

While “Final Light, The Prison” doesn’t knock Dead Cells of its thrown it is a very fun little game that I enjoyed my time with a lot. The game it is most similar to is seam indie game seraph which you can check out in my review section.

The story takes place in a dark twisted prison created by an Illuminati style superpower to house anyone who rebelled against the controllers of the world. Most of these inmates died and now the halls of the prison are roamed by what remains of them.
You must enter the prison and “free” for want of a better term, the souls of the inmates trapped inside. You play a mysterious character that can best be described as a plague doctor, wearing Dracula’s cape crossed with Baraka from Mortal Kombat.

The gameplay is a 2D action platformer with some very light Metroidvania style exploration. As you progress through the game you can pick up a number of other weapons as well as rose coins that can be used as currency for your next playthrough.
There are sections of the game with a risk-reward factor that give you the chance to play for large quantities of coins while facing possible death and having to start over again. What I particularly like is the fact you get lives and can die a few times starting at the beginning of each level.

Gameplay is as expected is a little floaty and combat does the job. Here is nothing standout here for what is clearly a fairly low budget game, but it is engaging and kept me wanting to play.

As well as enemies there are also spike, falling roof tiles and several other things waiting around the next corner ready to kill you. Some of these are well-choreographed others can sometimes be a bit cheap but it’s a mixed bag and rarely feels completely unfair.

Exploration is important but rarely key as most levels are fairly linear in nature only occasionally venturing off the obvious path yields rewards, but these are usually more of the secondary weapons the shield of which seems very powerful.

Like most roguelite games “Final Light, The Prison” work on seeds that can be reused or started fresh each time. This obviously prolongs lifespan especially when fun and unusual seeds crop up online. One big gripe, however, is the loading time needed to generate and use each seed. This can sometimes take up to 90 seconds which is 2018 is a long time to wait. Once the seed is loaded however we are good to go.

One issue I have got with the game that I raised with the developers and as you would have seen a warning for at the start the game contains lighting flashes that produce a fairly powerful strobe effect that I expect could be very dangerous for epileptics. I reached out to the developers who promised they would consider changing it for a future update.

All in all, I liked “Final Light, The Prison”. Sure it's not the best example of the genre and it is a little janky in places but it is engaging and a fun little game in its own right. Worth the price of admission.