Strayed Lights (Nintendo Switch) – Le test

Alsatians not only make good sauerkraut, they also know how to make video games! Are they as good as sauerkraut… Well let’s find out together…

The origins of light

Strayed Lights is the first work of the Alsatian independent studio, Emebers; and just that, “dry” rather cool!

The game makes us embody a flame that has just been born… And it is while taking its first steps that we benefit from a tutorial explaining the different abilities of our character. As we progress through this introductory phase, it grows and the range of possibilities expands. We start by walking, we learn to sprint, jump, climb and… defend ourselves… Devoid of any voice or textual narration (except to indicate the operation of the keys), the story of the game is therefore told to us by what happens on the screen and we must admit that it goes rather well. We understand what it’s all about and we immediately find ourselves an actor in the story (without realizing it), this is already the sign of a mastered narration.

Once our character has reached pre-adolescence, he finds himself confronted with a distorted reflection of himself and his contradictory emotions, seems to be born of a shadow that begins to invade him… We thus learn to fight against it, but at the end of an introductory confrontation, we realize that it seems to have taken possession of the world in which we evolve… It is then up to us, via our avatar, to free the strange world where we have landed from this corruption…

A step towards the light

Strayed Lights is a “defensive action” game with some platforming in a 3D environment. Defensive action, that’s a very strange term you might say! Don’t worry, we’ll explain… But let’s talk about the basic movements first. As we indicated earlier, our character can walk, sprint (without having to manage an endurance gauge), jump and cling to certain platforms to climb (we recognize them by the grass hanging from their edges). We evolve in a semi-open world, which, it must be admitted, is frankly very beautiful! But like a Bayonetta, our character still evolves in levels according to a path pre-established by the developers. And it is along the way that we meet opponents, that we will have to try to defeat, by the strength of your defense and this is one of the first subtleties of the title.

While most games of this type require you to hammer on one or more keys to hit your opponents, Strayed Lights will instead ask you to parry at the right time (with the R key) to counter their assaults! But that’s not all, because now comes the second subtlety of the title, the color! Basically we have a yellow color (reminiscent of the light from which we were born), but we can switch to a blue color at will by pressing the L key. It is these color variations that will make the difference during the fights. Indeed, our enemies have the same capacity and it will thus be necessary to be of the good color to succeed in the counters. Knowing that a Yellow/Fire attack will have to be countered in Yellow/Fire to gain power, and vice versa if the enemy attacks in blue, it will be necessary to be in blue to gain power during the counter. In any case, each time there is a success, your power gauge is reinforced and your life bar is raised!

Thus comes the third and final subtlety of confrontations: IF you counter with the wrong color, it doesn’t matter, the attack is still blocked, BUT you don’t fill your power gauge. However, it is only by filling your power gauge that you can definitively defeat an opponent, letting all the stored energy explode.

In general, one-on-one fights are relatively easy, but be careful, because you have to press the counter button at the right time to succeed in parrying. Indeed, advancing towards an enemy while remaining in a guard position is absolutely useless. There is a third color, purple, which is unstoppable and must then be dodged (usually by double tapping A).

The fights will turn out to be a little more tricky, when two opponents oppose you, it will then be a little more complex to dodge at the right time with the right color (in this kind of situation, we will recommend that you move away the one of the two to weaken it in solo). Even if we talked about the counter possibilities, know that our hero is also able to attack, by pressing ZR. On the other hand, there is still a need to have the right color so that the blows inflate the power gauge. However, don’t expect crazy combos…

Of course, by winning fights, you will earn power crystals which will allow you, via a small skill tree, to develop your character’s abilities (Increase in the life gauge, possibility of launching a counter-attack, etc. …)

Even if the classic fights turn out to be relatively repetitive in the long run, our hero will also have to confront Bosses in confrontations with Dantesque staging!

It will then be necessary to pay close attention to the patterns of these big guys and not to rush headlong to counter, subject to you taking a purple attack which will hurt your life bar… Luckily, you will be able to start the clashes again at leisure, your character being immortal. Defeating a boss will allow you to obtain more powerful artifacts to unlock more interesting abilities, such as being able to parry both colors without having to change your own!

Take full eyes!

But the fights are not everything in Strayed Lights, there is also this story without words, a parable of living beings and the conflicting feelings that inhabit them… All in a dreamlike universe of great beauty. The artistic direction is frankly successful and leaves room for dreams and escape… We were frankly impressed by the rendering of the game (despite some slowdowns), especially for an independent game!

The progression leaves us free to advance in the first three zones of the game, as we wish, each one having a theme and an environment (of color) of its own… The expanses seem to extend to infinity and we regret a bit of not being able to explore the game beyond the precipices that surround certain areas… However, these pretty sets lack a bit of life… not that there are no animations in the background, but we would have liked to see a little more other beings (than the enemies) in the environments we travel through (even if this is the case in certain areas. But, in the end, the bestiary can be counted on the fingers of two hands (but we can understand it, we still remember that it is an independent game) and it is also a way of showing us our character alone in front of his thoughts.

On the other hand, some slightly larger areas cause some slowdowns, nothing too bad, but still… The most annoying thing is still the loading times! Each “death” of our character (sometimes during a confrontation, or after an impromptu fall), leads to the 35 seconds of infernal waiting… it may not seem like much, but when you chain them, it quickly becomes heavy… (And sometimes the latter come to slip when passing from one zone to another). The other small defect of the game is the placement of the camera, which is not always obvious (there is no key to recenter the view behind our character) which proved to be annoying once or twice during passages a little more platforms.

But for the rest, you will have understood, we are not far from a visual faultless… Know that it is the same for the sound part! The soundtrack is perfectly adapted to the different worlds / universes that we travel through and also varies (always in accuracy) during the fights. Evolving in the sets, taking advantage of the soundtrack (preferably with headphones), brings a rather pleasant feeling of fullness and makes you forget the shortcomings noted above.

But overall, the sound and visual atmosphere induced by the game, serves perfectly for immersion in history!



  • A pretty nice world.
  • Interesting combat mechanics.
  • A dreamlike story without words.
  • Nice light effects.
  • The original combat system.


  • Loading times!
  • Decors seeming a little devoid of life.
  • A few slowdowns.
  • The repetitiveness of certain fights.
  • The difficulty of certain Bosses.

Note detail

  • Graphics

  • Musical ambiance

  • Handling

  • Narration

  • Gameplay diversity

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