Phobic Studios' Glare allows players to traverse a lush world of plants, darkness and spikes through jumping, gliding, swinging, bouncing and grappling — all through the power of light.
Players take on the role of the Shiner — a beam of light encased in armor who has been sent to from above to eliminate a darkness that is encroaching the planet. The game will let players explore different parts of the world through six levels, and in each level they will learn of new ways to interact with the environment.
The controls may been simple, but there is a lot of nuance to it.
The game controls very simply — there's running from left to right, jumping and a button with which to shine the light from the character's head. Through these simple controls alone, players will be able to interact with the game world in a multitude of ways. Shining the light on a bulbous plant will cause the plant to grow, which allows the player to perform super jumps onto high platforms. Shining the light onto various contraptions in the environment will activate them —there's one that acts like a kind of invisible grappling hook, and another that shoots out a laser beam that can then be used to glide through the sky.
During a demo of the game, the developer showed how players could use momentum to reach places that they otherwise could not if they were just using the basic jump mechanic. In one area, the Shiner couldn't make a jump between two platforms, so rather than continuously trying and falling to his death, the Shiner shone the light onto a grappling hook in the sky and pulled himself into the air. While in the air he was able to jump onto a different platform that curved downward. He then ran down that platform and, using the momentum of the downward slide, got the push he needed to get from one platform to another.
In another area, the Shiner had to jump off a platform, but at the bottom was a cluster of spiky plants. The solution was to jump and, just as he was about to hit the spikes, shine the light on a grappling hook nearby to swing through the air and avoid the spikes on the ground.
During our hands-on time with the game, we definitely found it challenging. The controls may been simple, but there is a lot of nuance to it, from the timing of jumps to figuring out when to shine the light. When we did manage to clear an area, we were rewarded with a sense of accomplishment and the visual delight of pulsing world free from darkness.