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Lightseekers – Is PlayFusion’s Toys to Life ARPG Any Good?

William Murphy Posted:
Columns The RPG Files 0

It seems like only a few months back that Lightseekers went to Kickstarter to build a new kind of Toys to Life Action RPG in the vein of Skylanders, but for mobile devices. Not only is there a Free to Play ARPG on iOS and Android, but there’s also a fully-developer physical card battle game out in the wild too. Come July 1st, there’ll also be action figures that can be scanned and used in the app, which have their owns swappable weapons, special cards and powers. But, you can also just play the ARPG, which turns out to be a pretty fun little adventure of its own.

If you’ve played an Action RPG before, you’ll feel right at home in Lightseekers. Without buying the figures, there are two main characters to choose from: Kora and Jax. Jax is a decidedly more “boy-oriented” orange dinosaur-like guy with muscles abound. While Kora is a blue, cute, but still deadly sort of water-type. They each have their own talents and skills, and you can equip them with different gear and armor as you progress. Of course, I expect the toys will give some of the best weapons and armor, as is the point of shelling out for them in the first place. Boulder, Zyrus, Ironbark, and Elara are heroes/figures that come out later, and each one corresponds to a magic type you’ll also find in the card game.

You tap to move, and tap to attack, with skills being assigned to a small menu in the lower right of the screen. You’ll unlock more skills as you level, and progress through a semi-linear story as well. The downside of this is that sometimes you’re blocked from progressing through the world until you hit a certain level, which can lead to grinding out quests or on mobs you have no interest in. Combat is pretty fun, but early on the game’s almost too easy. This is understandable as it’s geared towards children, so YMMV. My son loves the thing, and he’s 4. Thankfully, dungeons and the like can be made harder with a difficulty slider.

Visually, Lightseekers is pretty good looking, but it also doesn’t push the hardware on my iPhone 7 Plus as much as I’d hope – more lighting, shaders, and the like would be welcome. It winds up looking a little flat or dated as it stands now. Sounds are also repetitive, but the music is thematic and quite nice too. I like that as you go about the world, you’ll also be building up outposts and points of defense for your people. It’s not overly complex like Minecraft or anything, but it works to put a greater sense of personal touch on the world.

Overall, I quite like Lightseekers for bouts of gaming between my sit-down time at the PC, or for messing around with my son. It’s a fairly deep ARPG experience that’s easy to pick up, but lacking some finer points of visual polish. If you don’t like stylized cartoon visuals, it won’t be for you, but I enjoy the vision for the world of Lightseekers and hope PlayFusion can make this an IP that stands neck and neck with the mega-popular Skylanders. The userbase on mobile phones is absolutely a bigger market, and when the toys come out, not needing a special base to get them to work with your phone will be really good. Buy the figure, collect their pieces, and customize them in your games. I can see why TOMY teamed up with the dev studio. I haven’t played the card game yet, but I’m told by my buddy at the local Toys R Us where they’re being sold that his younger crowd is already eating it up, so PlayFusion must be doing something right.

Head over to the official site for more info, and stay tuned for our hands on time with the figures this July. If you’re looking for a mobile game you and your kids might like together, this could be the one.


William Murphy

Bill is the former Managing Editor of MMORPG.com, RTSGuru.com, and lover of all things gaming. He's been playing and writing about MMOs and geekery since 2002, and you can harass him and his views on Twitter @thebillmurphy.