Relaxing after a bad day is the easiest way to be happy again, so why not chill yourself playing The Last Campfire? A splendid Indie game that softens your nerves with its beautiful soundtrack.
The Last Campfire
The Last Campfire is an indie puzzle game developed by Hello Games and released in 2020 by the same company as No Man’s Sky (winner of Best Independent Game at the Game Awards in 2015). It’s available on Playstation 4, Xbox, Windows, Nintendo Switch and iOS platforms.
Making friends is important: Lore and Gameplay
In the game, you play as Ember, this little creature that lost herself in a forest while canoeing with her group trying to escape from there. Her initial mission was to reunite with her group but it didn’t last long. After approaching the King of the island Ember realized that in order to go back, she needed to help out other lost Embers and creatures of the realm by exploring, solving puzzles, but more importantly, figuring herself out and the purpose of the journey.
The game is quite linear, exploring a detailed land with outstanding scenarios and a beautiful soundtrack as accompaniment makes the journey better and better. Initially, Ember will help a Fisherman fix his fishing pole to feed the Queen Frog, then the Frog will let you reach a new scenario; after some time taken to free some souls, Ember will encounter a Red Ember and the game itself will become more enigmatic and mysterious because you’ll be followed until the end.
In the next scenario, after the Queen Frog took Ember to a new destination and met the other Ember, she’ll end up waking some pigs that help eat some carnivorous plants in your path. To keep going through her journey Ember will encounter another pig, this time a big and problematic one that’s always hungry. Moving the giant pig is the main task and can be completed by mainly looking for new food to feed him and washing him. A chef turtle will help Ember making food, assuring you’d help him cleaning his territory by other pigs that ate his veggies; then Ember is able to unlock some new areas that grant her a safe way to clean and move the giant pig.
When Ember helps everyone the story will change plot, and chasing the Red Ember will be the final task and the finale of the game to escape all together.
Completing the campaign is quite easy and satisfying; puzzles are not difficult but very detailed. The game campaign lasted almost 6 hours, and in addition, the developers offered a mode that added new puzzles. Those who want to try the hardest ones have to finish the run first.
A Scandinavian woman’s voice narrates the story and it witnesses your actions as a bard, making the gameplay a pleasure to your ears. Every time the narrator speaks, it means the road you chose is the correct one.
Ember’s items are its own backpack and a Cornucopia: the first one is for looting and unlocking new areas with the items found, and the second one helps move heavy things that stand in your way.
This game is so well written that the story and music make time fly, and for a better gameplay experience it has to be played with headphones on because it’s like listening to a lullaby.
In the journey Ember encounters a lot of different personalities and colorful characters that makes your campaign lovable.
Instead, the puzzles are innovative but a bit repetitive; even though this trait might sound negative, it is not heavy at all because you will be curious to reach the end of the story.
The gameplay is pleasant but monotone; it could’ve been more dynamic with actual “soft” action. In this way the game is playable in one direction only: walk until you reach a puzzle, or a new scenario to explore.
Summarizing is worth the time and money spent to finish the game and is a masterpiece for those who love indie games, considering the potential it has.
The Last Campfire
- Scenarios and characters well detailed
- Soundtrack impeccable
- Good narrating/dialogs
- Puzzles repetitive
- Poor gameplay