Pilfer: Story of Light review for PC

Platform: PC
Publisher: Vincent Prom
Developer: Vincent Prom
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No
ESRB: Not Rated

In some respects, my feelings towards Pilfer: Story of Light are awfully similar to what I had to say about Kaku: Ancient Seal earlier this week. Both, after all, are 3D platformers that owe a huge debt of gratitude towards the past. While that descriptor applies to plenty of other games, too, it’s a quirk of timing that I ended up playing both of them this week, so they’re both on my mind at the moment.

There’s one important difference, though: Pilfer: Story of Light is excellent.

I mean, it’s not very original. It does very little to hide how much inspiration it draws from its biggest influence, Super Mario Galaxy. But in a weird way, that works to Pilfer’s advantage. After all, if you’re going to directly copy a game, why not make it one of the greatest games of all time?

Of course, it helps that Pilfer imitates Super Mario Galaxy so well. Plenty of games draw inspiration from classics but never amount to much – in part because they lack the technical ability to pull off their theft. Pilfer, by contrast, was made by someone competent enough to copy Super Mario Galaxy and smart enough to not get in the way of an already near-perfect thing. It may not deliver something we’ve never seen before, but it does deliver a product that works, which is more than a lot of imitators can say.

This means that Pilfer’s gameplay will feel awfully familiar to anyone who’s ever played the Wii classic. Double-jumps and wall-jumps and ground stomps and being launched across great distances by random stars: the mechanics all feel well-worn at this point. But, again, they work well, which makes it awfully easy to get sucked into the game. Add in a layer of cuteness via a story about a raccoon that you can dress up in all kinds of costumes while he’s saving the universe from an evil owl, and you have a pretty solid combination.

To be certain, it’s not going to make anyone forget Super Mario Galaxy. But if you’re after a game that captures the spirit of one of the best 3D platformers ever, then you owe it to yourself to give Pilfer: Story of Light a try.

Vincent Prom provided us with a Pilfer: Story of Light PC code for review purposes.

Grade: A-