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Bright Lights of Svetlov

Soviet Union, mid 1980s. Bright Lights of Svetlov uncovers how a soviet family life was, at its gradual descend under the harsh trials.

Product Brand: Vladimir Cholokyan

Product Currency: USD

Product Price: $9.99

Product In-Stock: InStock

Editor's Rating:

In the last couple of years, it has been the walking simulators in video games that have delivered some of the most of the most unique experiences that this medium can offer. While some of these titles like ‘Martha is Dead and ‘Suicide of Ratchel Foster‘ may come off as creepy, polarizing, and controversial at times, the experiences that they offer are undeniably unique. On the bright side, this genre also has titles like Firewatch which remains one of my most memorable experiences to date.

As for the game in question today, it is a title based on real events that took place in the heart of the Soviet Union. Bright Lights of Svetlov is a short, story-focused first-person quest about a Soviet family facing harsh trials. It was released on Steam back in 2021 and now is finally available on PlayStation.

Back to The ’80s

Bright Lights of Svetlov is a game that tries to capture the essence of life in a small Soviet town in the 1980s. It is a short, linear, and story-driven game that focuses on the daily struggles and joys of a family of three: a father, a mother, and a daughter. The game is divided into several chapters, each one following a different character and showing their perspective on the events that unfold.

The game is not a typical adventure game, as it does not have any puzzles, combat, or choices to make. Instead, it is more like a walking simulator, where the player explores the environment and interacts with objects and people. The game relies heavily on narration, both from the characters themselves and from an omniscient narrator who provides historical and cultural context. The game also uses realistic graphics and sound design to create an immersive atmosphere that transports the player to the Soviet era.

Tropes of Soviet Life

The game’s main strength is its storytelling, which is engaging and emotional. The game depicts the hardships and challenges that the family faces, such as poverty, unemployment, alcoholism, domestic violence, and political repression. But it also shows the moments of happiness and hope that they share, such as celebrating holidays, listening to music, playing games, and dreaming of a better future. The game does not shy away from showing the dark side of the Soviet regime, but it also does not demonize it. Instead, it tries to present a balanced and nuanced view of the historical period.

The game’s main weakness is its lack of interactivity and replay value. The game is very short, lasting only about an hour and a half. The game does not offer any branching paths or alternative endings, so there is little incentive to play it again. The game also does not have much gameplay variety or challenge, as most of the tasks are simple and straightforward. The game can feel more like watching a movie than playing a game.

Real Talk

Overall, Bright Lights of Svetlov is a game that appeals to fans of narrative-driven games and historical fiction. It is a game that tells a compelling and touching story of a family living in a turbulent time. It is a game that recreates the atmosphere and vibe of the 1980s Soviet Union with great attention to detail. It is a game that deserves to be played and appreciated for its artistic vision and emotional impact. Considering its short length and lack of replayability you should consider buying it while it is on sale.


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