htoL#NiQ: The Firefly Diary

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firefly-diary-cover

It’s a flawed game, but I think there is a niche audience for it.

In The Firefly Diary, your goal is to lead an antlered and amnesiac girl named Mion to safety through a rubble-filled post-apocalyptic world. You do not control Mion directly–instead, you play as two firefly-like entities. The light firefly guides Mion to where you want her to go. Meanwhile the shadow firefly is used to activate various objects and affect the environment in certain ways. Time stops when you control the latter firefly, but as its name suggests you can only move it within shadows. In short, this is a puzzle platformer that utilizes gameplay elements reminiscent of Dokuro and Ghost Trick, but works within a much darker and harrowing setting.

It was the beautiful and haunting art style that got me excited for this game, and I’m glad to say it does very well in terms of presentation and atmosphere. When it comes to the actual gameplay though, I have to admit it can often be pretty frustrating. In The Firefly Diary, you will have to fail many, many times in order to work out how to get the slow Mion safely through each series of fatal hazards. (I strongly recommend switching from the default touch screen controls to the joystick and buttons control scheme.) If you are not the patient type, you will get frustrated very quickly.

Overall I personally liked this game, but I wouldn’t recommend it to everyone. Most of the puzzles are set up well enough that you can work out what you need to do, but there are a few that are pretty ridiculous. If an indie-esque horror setting puzzle platformer sounds like your cup of tea though (and you’re up for a challenge), go ahead and give this one a shot.

Get it on the Vita, or on Steam.

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