Fight The Dragon – The Lighthouse by CynicRelief

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The Lighthouse is the first campaign we’ll be looking at and it’s a bit on the short side with only two levels, but it makes up for quantity with quality. This is a campaign which is primarily about creating a sense of place and it’s clear that a lot of effort was put into the details. The first level takes place outside of the lighthouse where even if you didn’t read the description it would soon become clear that something was wrong as the weather fluctuates. Most of the enemies in this first level are rats and basic humanoids which don’t pose much of a threat, though there are a few well-placed archers scattered about. Other than the weather effects, I think it’s a nice, subtle touch to have a wrecked ship near the docks to further indicate the malfunctioning nature of the lighthouse.

The second level makes up the majority of the campaign and this is where The Lighthouse truly shines. Players are tasked with climbing to the top of the lighthouse while seeking out keys and help from the questionably benevolent lighthouse keeper. The most impressive part of this level is the sheer sense of verticality to it all. You are constantly moving up and down staircases and even the more open floors are kept fairly small. My favorite parts are the spiraling screens where you must fight off enemies in very confined spaces as you ascend up the lighthouse. Towers of all sorts are everywhere in video games, but usually the feeling of climbing up a tower is somewhat dampened by the tower being too big or suspiciously square. Here, the narrow, spiraling confines combine with small balconies and clouds to really give an authentic sense of climbing up a small tower. This campaign is not without a few shortcomings, namely the final confrontation is underwhelming and the red key is hidden a bit too well for its own good, but these are fairly small marks against an otherwise solid and memorable set of levels.

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