Golden Light is horrible but in a great way! (Review)

There’s something incredibly beautiful about the horrible, the grotesque and the splattery presentation of Golden Light. It’s almost Baudelaire-esque with how it depicts overly bloody and meaty walls and corridors in a fascinating light. And yes, I’m sort of thinking too much about it but hey, if you spend at least an hour in these corridors, you’ll begin to see it, too.

Developer: Mr. Pink
Publisher: HypeTrain Digital
Genre: Indie, Action, 3D, First-Person, Horror-Survival, Roguelite
Release Date: March 11th, 2022
Reviewed on: PC
Available on: PC
Copy was part of Humble Choice.

Golden Light is… interesting. Our significant other, only referred to as “She”, was swallowed by a meaty hole in the ground and being head over heels for someone we don’t know the name of, we obviously jump right into this big fleshy tube, ready to save her at all costs.

Inside of the Gut, you’re in for a treat… heh.

You see… you can eat everything, you can break a lot, and you can try and make it to the elevator in whatever way you see fit… but depending on your actions, the world (the Gut) will hate your… guts… uh… Breaking walls, attacking monsters, and performing other actions may antagonize the world/antagonist further, making levels harder and prices higher – not great.

Naturally, once you learn this, you’ll try avoiding enemies but it isn’t possible at all times. The game supplies you with weapons and ammunition and some enemies are just incredibly aggressive. Sometimes, you do need to attack enemies. Sometimes, you have to resist. Other times, you run. That’s most of the time.

The game features a plethora of biomes that are structured using procedurally generated levels. In that department, the game is a roguelike. It’s a procedural death labyrinth with procedurally generated loot that does random things depending on the run… but it’s not quite a roguelike, technically.

Dying doesn’t mean you start the game from the beginning. That would suck in this game with how tense and stagnant the atmosphere can get. Rather, you start at the last floor you explored (with an option to rest somewhere that I didn’t find a use for). Hence, you only can go deeper, you don’t lose progress… and eventually, you make it to new biomes with new loot, enemies, and new rules.

Figuring out the rules is important, you see, as not every enemy is hostile, not every weapon does damage, and not every food item heals you.

You can throw weapons and items, you can attack with them, or you may as well eat them. Item effects are randomized and thus, a lot of the time, you’ll just figure it out through trial and error, out of necessity. You’re poisoned? Well, this item may paralyze you but it could also clear your poison. Are you willing to use it? Above all, I found this mechanic “interesting”. It creates tension and interesting synergies, especially when combined with Mementos found around (power-ups if you will) that do things.

The biggest weakness I found with Golden Light was movement and the bosses. Bosses are usually just meat sponges with huge hitboxes. Whatever. You can avoid them, right? Movement on the other hand is clunky. Combat’s clunky, too, but it’s clunky with a purpose. At times, I found myself getting seemingly stuck on some edges, and it just felt a bit annoying, really, especially when everything was on fire or when picking up the last key required to open the elevator set the level into a frenzy.

Frankly, I’d probably dislike Golden Light if it wasn’t for the story… and the story itself is interesting as it mainly presents itself through poems and flashbacks. You see yourself struggling with work, struggling in life, struggling with your relationship, and it just feels like a story about loss or about torment, possibly?

You get the good times, the bad times, the arguments, the ending,… The Gut, this area, feels like purgatory but at the same time, you always return to this labyrinth-like open area that is peaceful and tranquil with lots to explore. I found a giant baby called “Son” somewhere and it was pretty helpful. Go explore this area. It’s big. Beware of some mushrooms though… they come to get ya.

As much as I hate horror and as much as I dislike tense atmospheres like this, I constantly feel like going back into it. It feels like a world I wanna explore.

Golden Light‘s an amalgamation of ideas and concepts that keeps me wanting to come back for more – but at the same time, I dread the tenseness of the atmosphere and the anxiety the Gut is causing me. Maybe I’m thinking too much into it but what harm is there in thinking too much about games like this, right? The storytelling is mysterious and I’m not sure if I’ll find out what the game is actually about anytime soon… maybe it’s not actually about anything.

Either way, I like it. It’s a good game.

This post was first published on Indiecator by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken. If you like what you see here and want to see more, you can check me out on Twitch and YouTube as well. If you find this post on a website other than, please write an e-mail to me. Thank you!

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