The Flashlight wiki last edited by BeachThunder on 07/05/15 11:57PM View full history

Overview

Flashlights in games are primarily used in three ways, none of which are mutually exclusive:

Atmospheric Effect

Flashlights are particularly useful in horror or survival games. Placing the character in a dark environment and giving them a flashlight which has a very specific area of effect helps add to the foreboding nature of the environment.

As a Gameplay Mechanic

The most common flashlight mechanics are:

  • Having the light either run on a battery, or charge which runs out as the light is used. This again is mostly in horror or survival games where light can be a life saver.
  • Having a flashlight be one of a very limited number of items that the player character can hold or use at any time. Doom 3 is one of the most well known examples of this type of mechanic.
  • Having the enemy recognize and react to the protagonist's light. Almost any modern game that inculdes a flashlight will use this mechanic to discourage the player from running around with what would otherwise be a useful item active at all times.

As Part of a Puzzle

Flashlights are also used as puzzle elements. For example, they can be used as lock-key mechanics, where players cannot progress into a dark area unless they have a flashlight. As well as this, the actual mechanisms of flashlights can serve as a puzzle, such as placing a certain kinds of bulb into the flashlight or changing the batteries.

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