hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Review: Glare

2:00 PM on 10.11.2013 // Steven Hansen

Sunny side up

I was drawn to Glare because of its colorful art style. Stylistic pomegranate space-scapes span the horizon, like our artists' rendition of the Horsehead Nebula. Of course, I’m always down for platformers with a twist, and the repelling glare mechanic was an interesting one.

What I didn’t expect was that Glare has some teeth to it. Yes, it’s pretty, and yes, it comes from a studio that made cash barrels on mobile titles, but this is a labor of love with a surprise difficulty curve as things expand from a basic jumpy game to a cross between Mega Man and a bullet-hell shooter.

With a twist.

Glare (PC, Mac, Linux)
Developer: Phobic Studios
Publisher: Phobic Studios
Release: October 9
MSRP: $14.99

Glare is weird. It stars some sort of son god savior with solar hair like a super saiyan. He has to restore worlds overcome by darkness, traveling into their cores, causing dank tendrils to recoil. That’s not why it’s weird, though.

The titular glare mechanic is integral to the game, which otherwise plays a lot like a Mega Mman game, replete with wall sliding and little potshots from the main character’s gun. You don’t start with the gun, however. You do start with glare, which can be used in conjunction with the environment -- shine it on a plants to make it grow, yielding access to further areas -- and against enemies. Glare will completely repel enemies in its Madden-styled vision cone.

Dissonance stems from Glare being very much a typical platormer, but one that encourages much more stationary combat. You can stand your ground, shooing away carnivorous, violent, violet fugu. You’re asked to relearn platformer combat. To keep grounded. Don’t jump over enemies and cross them up. Just stand, shoo, and shoot.

The gun, even in its upgraded forms, it quite weak. It feels weak, doing nothing to keep enemies from careening into you. Blasting them into environmental hazards is more satisfying than shooting, but it’s not always an option. Enemies aren't excessive, but they get to be a nuisance at times, especially when they respawn in nearby areas. Given that they tend to slow down what is a surprisingly tight and punishing platformer, I remain mixed on the combat. If you’re competent, you can use the glare satisfyingly, but sometimes, it feels like enemies populate for population’s sake.

Glare is a tightly-paced affair, too, which is why finding the combat a bit tiresome surprised me. The whole thing sits at a comfortable three to five hours. Less if you’re skilled. I like that it doesn’t overstay its welcome, though, starting pleasant and accessible, ending challengingly. It’s a steady difficulty curve.

Even that, though, feels a little marred by the need to keep adding elements as you clear worlds. A bomb is added, but mostly serves as a means of clearing obstacles, slowing things down. It is also mapped by default to the ‘e’ key, which is weird because it can actually take your finger off the key meant to keep you moving forward, though all button mapping can be changed. Weirdly, I felt more comfortable playing on PC because of the glare mechanic, which works well with its aiming mapped to the mouse. However, I also am not crazy about platformers on keyboards, causing a preferred control method clash.

As you get deeper and deeper into a planet’s core, the world becomes more and more tightly spiraled, as if you’re on the small world of The Little Prince. It’s a cool effect, culminating in end-of-level boss fights that operate more as a twin-stick shooter as you fight a corrupted core, circling it in a zero-gravity space.

The entire trek ends on a challenging sequence of precision-platforming while you’re being accosted by constant bullet hell-like projectiles and all the previous enemy types. Trying to glare everything away, use the glare on the requisite traversal elements, and manage the platforming isn’t easy. It’s borderline frustrating, but ultimately satisfying, especially as the sojourning through the game’s lengthier, palette-swapped worlds began to drag a bit.

Glare confidently puts something notably different within the confines of a strict, conventional genre. Though it lacks any glaring faults, I'm not sure it always works. It it interesting, though, and doesn't overstay its welcome.



Glare - Reviewed by Steven Hansen
Likable - That's a seven, which is actually a different number than five. It's more than ok. We like this game. I don't want to play it every day forever and ever, but it's definitely worth the time I invested in it, and I'll be picking it up again to relive the fun sometime down the line.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Steven Hansen, Features Editor
 Follow Blog + disclosure dtoidsteven Tips
Steven watches anime & sports, buys meat out of trucks, dates a Muppet, and is only good at cooking. He stands before you bereft of solace and well on the road to perdition. ('^ω^) more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our moderators, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

Fuzunga avatarFuzunga
The Undertale review section on its Steam page is hilarious! [img][/img]
n0signal avatarn0signal
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
A Nintendo rep gave this to me today because she likes talking to me. I do have lots of the Old AC eReader cards I guess I could put in it... [img][/img]
GoofierBrute avatarGoofierBrute
I'm still trying to figure out how to do it, but for the most part I like what I've seen of the new blog editor. My first blog post using it should go up tomorrow.
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
The demon threat is real.[img][/img]
Mike Martin avatarMike Martin
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
Daily VGM #20 (Bonus) - Valak Mountain Night (Xenoblade Chronicles) [youtube][/youtube] This theme perfectly captures the essence of Valak Mountain. It feel serene and calm, as well as mountain-esque (lol).
Lawman avatarLawman
What does one do when MGS V has lost its luster and Persona 4: DAN is growing stale? Listen to Queens of the Stone Age, of course. And wonder; is Steins;Gate worth the asking price? I want it, but not sure if I $30 - $40 want it...
Terry 309 avatarTerry 309
Been trying to get Tales Of Phantasia finished before Zestiria comes out... How i'm going to get through that game I have no clue... especially when Exist Archive comes out in December and I have to play that too... also i've still yet to finish Grandia 2
TheLimoMaker avatarTheLimoMaker
Been in a bit of a rut this week and as such haven't really been satisfied with any of my games. Therefore, I'm going to start Destiny again on my new PS+ account. Any tips given the amount of updates it's had?
Bardley avatarBardley
Bought a used knockoff game console called the Power Kracker 2013, which claimed to have 76,000 games. The AC adapter was missing and someone had crammed an off-brand GameCube controller inside the box. I don't know what I expected.
Firuzi Gafrindashvili avatarFiruzi Gafrindashvili
Resident Evil: Revelations 2
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
I actually love the quests in Novigrad where you write a play. It's a fun and lighthearted break from the tragedy of Baron and horror of Velen and the Crones.
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
I preordered Tales of Zestria and Disgaea 5 because they were £10 cheaper that way, WHO WANTS TO FIGHT ME HUH?
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
Man, plague of shadows is gooood. It really fleshes out plague knight and the world by extension, and it has some fun story stuff. Plus plague knight plays differently enough to shovel knight to make whats old feel new again. Deep customization too.
nanashi avatarnanashi
You will be missed. 2001 - 2015 ATHF RIP. ... oh and uh, GET OUT OF MY FREAKING POOL!!
SpielerDad avatarSpielerDad
Freezing my ass off at a Penn State football game. Half of the hicks at this stadium probably didn't graduate high school, yet they're rooting for a college football team. I wish I was on my warm den playing MGS V.
AvtrSpirit avatarAvtrSpirit
Gosh darn it, she's done it again! That Sapphire's a talented minx. [youtube][/youtube]
ChrisHannard avatarChrisHannard
Is renting games still a thing in America? I know there's only one UK company still doing rentals. And does it make you less tolerant of games? I definitely gave games less of a chance when I knew I could sling them back in the envelope and get a new one.
Termadoyle avatarTermadoyle
Probably the most awesome soundtrack in an indie game. And the game isn't so bad either. win/win situation tbqh.
more quickposts


destructoid's previous coverage:

  Oct 04

Glare is a pretty indie platformer starring a sun god

Disappointed mother used 'glare.' It was super effective!

View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:

Please contact Crave Online, thanks!


Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -