While I don't stay up on the list of games about to release like I used to, I can say that most of the time when a game comes out I've at least heard of it before and I'm not totally caught off guard by its availability. But last week a friend (and co-worker) was fixing to stream a game on Twitch and was somewhat reluctant because it was newly released and he wasn't all that familiar with it. And when he told me about it I hadn't heard of it either. Well, he went on to stream the game and thoroughly enjoyed it. I watched him play it and I was captivated by the audio and visuals found in the game. The gameplay is described as a platforming RPG - not something I typically play, but there was something about it I found strangely appealing.

Over the course of the next week or two, I kept hearing random people mention this game. Completely different random people not associated with one another kept talking about how amazing it was. At least three of them called it their Game of the Year pick. Of course that perked my ears up. We're only a quarter of the way through the year and several people are calling this their game of the year. A game I hadn't even heard of. How could this be? Upon hearing the repeated positive praise, I had to try the game out for myself.

The title of the game...is Child of Light.

Child of Light is a platforming role-playing video game developed by Ubisoft Montreal and published by Ubisoft. The game puts players in the shoes of Aurora, a child stolen from her home, who, in her quest to return, must bring back the sun, the moon and the stars held captive by the mysterious Queen of the Night. It was released on Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Wii U, Xbox 360 and Xbox One in April 2014.

Child of Light centers around Aurora, a girl from 1895 Austria who contracts a physical ailment that causes her to fall asleep. Upon waking up, Aurora finds herself in the mythical world of Lemuria which has had its sun, moon and stars stolen by the Black Queen. Aurora is tasked with recovering the celestial bodies and ultimately reuniting with her father, who is a duke. Helped by her playable companion Igniculus the firefly and several unlikely allies, Aurora will face her darkest fears in this modern take on a coming-of-age story. (SOURCE: Wikipedia)

Now I'm sure I could look back and find some pre-release info on the game, but it wouldn't matter - The truth is I not only didn't have this game on my RADAR, I don't think I had ever even heard of it. Having played the game now, I think it would've been a shame to never experience it.

The artwork is breathtaking and the music and sound effects are equally appealing. Some of the best I've seen. I found the game plays a lot like Final Fantasy in many regards, but offers enough uniqueness it won't feel like a total ripoff. I was intrigued by the comment about the game being developed by a lot of the former Far Cry 3 developers and that the two games share some similarities in the upgrade skill tree. I don't think I would've recognized the correlation if I hadn't of read that. I will say though, the tech tree is fairly robust and offers a lot of different skill options.

There are a variety of different creatures to keep you occupied, but apparently you also have a few teammates that come to your aid. You have different attacks and powers you can use to combat them, and fans of the genre should have no problem adjusting to the controls and what not to play the game.

The professional reviews are solid, but nobody in this arena seemed to claim it is destined for a Game of the Year nod. But like I said, at least a handful of gamers think it is.

I only briefly played the game and still have a lot of ground to cover, but it was such a beautiful game and has so many people singing its praises, I really can't help but play it out to see how it finishes. I guess you could say I'm hooked on it.

If you're looking for a unique game that offers a refreshing change of pace from any other game you're currently playing, you may be interested in checking out what the game has to offer. It's often described as a fairly tale, and it certainly has a mystical quality to it. It's available on pretty much all of the big platforms and produced by Ubisoft. You can find the official page here.

Who knows, perhaps you'll see the light and choose it as your 2014 Game of the Year contender.

Have a great weekend.