Review – The Light in the Mist by PostCurious
Website Link – https://www.getpostcurious.com
Price – $32 (standard edition, the one we played) or $95 (collector’s edition)
Disclaimer: we purchased the game with our own money, this review is not sponsored. All thoughts are our own.
The Light in the Mist is a story and adventure game in the form of a tarot card deck. Players will use the deck of 78 cards to solve puzzles and unravel a mystery.
In the game, your friend has gone missing and now it is up to you to figure out what has happened. To do this, you’ll need to use the tarot card deck she left behind. By figuring out the puzzles embedded within the deck, you’ll gain access to your friend’s memories and hopefully come a little closer to solving the mystery of her disappearance.
The majority of the gameplay is non-linear and allows players to tackle the challenges as they see fit. The narrative’s first and final puzzles must be done in order, but the twenty in between can be done in any order.
To attempt a puzzle, players must first choose one of the available major arcana cards. Then, they should pull all the minor arcana cards that have a matching symbol. This can be anywhere from no cards to fourteen cards (don’t worry, the major arcana cards tell you how many extra cards you’ll need). Once the proper resources are pulled, a wisdom entry should be read to provide additional context and clues. Next, it’s time to solve the puzzles for one or more keywords. Each keyword will lead to an additional passage that will reveal more of the story. Along the way, players will gather more knowledge and possibly a few more tools to help them on their quest.
The Light in the Mist is advertised for 1-4 players, aged 14 and older, and claims to provide 5+ hours of gameplay. As a pair, we took about six and a half hours. We found the age recommendation appropriate for both the story being told and the difficulty level of the puzzles.
With over twenty puzzles to solve, The Light in the Mist provides a lot for puzzle-lovers to enjoy. While we will probably never use the game as a functional tarot card deck, we still feel we got our money’s worth through the actual gameplay alone. The puzzles were well-designed and the bringing together of elements from different tarot cards felt fresh and exciting.
The puzzles offer a lot of variety in terms of what players will need to do and how they need to approach tasks. We were happy to see that the tarot deck was put to good use and never felt like a simple gimmick but like an important part of both the story and gameplay. Lovers of logical, spatial, word, observational, and deduction puzzles will all find something to enjoy amongst the game’s trials.
The difficulty level of the puzzles definitely varied. Some puzzles we knocked out in minutes, while others took a lot more effort. We spent over half an hour on some of the more challenging puzzles. For us, the lighter puzzles provided a good refresh and confidence boost between the tougher ones.
That is why we appreciated the freedom to attempt puzzles in any order. For the most part, after shuffling the major arcana cards, we drew a puzzle randomly and solved them in the order they came out. However, we did sometimes purposely knock out an easier (to us) puzzle before returning to a tricker one with fresh eyes and a little more hope.
The non-linear puzzle path was nice in its own right, but it could also possibly allow groups to take on different puzzles at the same time, assuming they don’t need the same minor arcana cards. While this is a co-op game, for a group of more than two, it can be nice to not have to all crowd around the same items.
The ability to solve puzzles in any order also means that players will receive the story in a unique order as well. Thankfully, each piece of the story works by itself while also adding to the larger narrative tapestry overtime. As story beats are filled in, players will gain a better understanding of what they heard before, but they should never worry about feeling confused or lost.
The actual tale told through The Light of the Mist is intriguing. It held our interest as the tale unfolded piece by piece. In our opinion, the story stayed pretty family safe while dealing with serious topics, but the game does offer the opportunity to check a content warning spoiler for potential trigger warnings for those who might need it. As a whole though, we enjoyed the story shared through the game.
The one worry we did have while playing that never ended up being a big deal was whether or not we solved every puzzle completely. With each puzzle potentially having more than one keyword to find, we constantly had to live with the worry that we might have missed something and only found one or some of the available keywords. In reality, it was usually pretty clear which puzzles had more than one answer and the online hint system allowed us to check after the fact if we missed any keywords. It turned out we were fine. Again, it wasn’t a big deal, but our completionist ways definitely had us anxious that we might miss something.
Finally, it would be nearly impossible to not comment on the art of The Light in the Mist. The artwork and design of the entire product is fantastic. This is great because the art is so essential to the puzzles. The design, images, and symbology were clear and easy to understand. Getting the art right was vital to making this game work, and The Light in the Mist nails it.
Overall, we found the game well designed and extremely enjoyable. The Light in the Mist packed a lot of fun and mystery in a small box. The tarot aspect provided a fun twist on the puzzling genre in a unique and well-implemented manner. We’ve come to expect a lot from PostCurious over the years, and they once again produced a winner of a game.
Official C&C Rating:
Overall Fun: 4.5
Total Averaged Rating: 4.7/5
*For anyone curious we solved the puzzles in the following order:
0, 1, 16, 9, 5, 12, 20, 6, 17, 19, 11, 14, 7, 10, 8, 13, 18, 15, 2, 4, 3, 21