Update: Twilight Path will launch on October 2nd on Steam and Oculus Home for $14.99.
Original: Twilight Path from Charm Games has a strong sense of identity from its opening moments. The very second that it begins you immediately feel like you’re inside of a fully-realized virtual world, even if all you’re really doing is teleporting around while solving puzzles.
This is the follow-up to 2017’s Form, an exquisite, but extremely short, sci-fi themed puzzle game, and the feeling that these were made by the same people and perhaps even somehow exist in the same universe is palpable. Charm clearly has a strong identity and could become a go-to developer of VR puzzle games just like Owlchemy is a go-to developer of silly interaction games.
Similar to Form, Twilight Path has beautiful environments that you feel compelled to gawk at, but you won’t be running around with any artificial locomotion at all. This is just a stand in place and teleport a bit type of game, which is perfectly fine for this type of experience.
The brief demo I tried featured two primary “powers” that I used to solve puzzles: a tiny little magical orb and a telekinesis grabbing power. When I held the orb up and gazed through it, similar to the Lens of Truth in Ocarina of Time, it revealed secrets in the world. I get the feeling that this orb and the “Twilight” theme are going to play major parts in this puzzle adventure.
Obviously the biggest difference between Twilight Path and Form is just the actual setting. Whereas Form was a staunchly sci-fi game full of esoteric monuments, bright cascading lights, and floating platforms, Twilight Path feels much more grounded, even if still highly fantastical. It’s equally as gorgeous visually, just in a different style. Stylistically it actually gave me some vibes similar to The Gallery from Cloudhead, or obviously Myst.
When playing a non-VR puzzle game, I have a bad habit of getting frustrated very easily after trying a few solutions at random when I get stuck, but that doesn’t seem to happen as much in VR. Games like Twilight Path instead invite me to tinker until I found the solution. Similar to Form it didn’t feel overly difficult, but hopefully that’s just because this was only a small section of the game.
The devs clearly have a handle on how to make engaging puzzles in VR, but hopefully they can flex their narrative muscles a bit more this time around. The ancient, mystical, and mysterious world of Twilight Path is seeping with character and it’d be a shame to see that go to waste for just a thematically similar collection of puzzles. Since the demo was only a short 30-minute slice, maybe the full game dives into the world and story a bit more.
We don’t have a firm release date for Twilight Path at this time, but the website still says Summer 2018 and we expect to see it land on Rift, Vive, and Windows VR. Let us know what you think down in the comments below!