This is part 2 of my Action 52 Owns review. You can find other parts of the series at my Action 52 OWNS post tag, here.
On a dark, yet peaceful night a young boy sleeps soundly. Suddenly, he's awakened by a terrible inhuman sound. All the lights in the house are out and his family is gone. He grabs his flashlight and goes to find out just what's happening here.
The original Illuminator from Action 52 can be best described as an arena platformer. The playing area is a series of floors and ladders, with zombie-like enemies wandering back and forth, which you vaporize with your light-projecting gun until they're all gone and you can move on to the next level. An interesting gimmick added to the game was the blackouts, where the level would periodically go dark, rendering the play area in silhouette and making it hard to tell where enemies were. In all, it was an interesting premise executed very poorly.
The updated Illuminator takes that premise to the next level, creating a platformer survival horror game, like Castlevania meets Resident Evil. Each level takes place in a new house, or on occasion group of houses, which you must navigate, defeating monsters as you go until you find the portal to the next region. Your only weapon is your flashlight which, when fully charged, can release a blinding flash of light when turned on, instantly vaporizing the zombies, vampires, ghosts, and assorted other monsters you'll encounter.
Strategy plays a part in the game as well. Since you can't easily see what's out there, you'll have to take it slow, clear rooms and shut yourself in while your flashlight recharges, then ambush the monsters and destroy them before moving on. Along the way you can find various objects to help you out, like nightlights which illuminate small areas of the house to help you see what's out there, or strings of Christmas lights which don't provide any real illumination, but will let you know when a monster is walking over them.
Illuminator isn't perfect, of course. It's a bit on the short side, though that's to be expected of a game that's intended to be part of a compilation. Still, it's longer than some of the other games here - it probably took me about 3-4 hours to complete all 9 levels on my first playthrough. What I can tell you is that of the handful of A52 Owns games I've looked at so far, this is my favorite. It's got a solid gameplay system and a fairly challenging difficulty level. In all I can't really think of any problems I have with the game; I would recommend it for anyone who isn't afraid of a few scares.
KR Rating:  GREAT
Go ahead and download a copy of the game from this link right here.