Alright, I know us gamers love to cast shade on any and all entities in the industry—Steam, Kickstarter, EA, mobile developers, IndieRuckus.com (deserved), other crappier news sources, etc etc. Some like to chalk it up to gamers being passionate and protective of their pastime, while others are of the opinion that people can be a bit too prickly and seek out reasons to complain. But I’m not going to get into that debate here, because in this case the outrage is quite deserved and necessary.
The supposed “game” Journey of the Light by developer Lord Kres has been identified as violating Steam policy and has been removed from sale. And thankfully Steam has responded accordingly to the controversy and taken it a step further today, offering full refunds to everyone who purchased Journey of Light, no matter how long they have owned or played it. In case you missed the meltdown, here’s why everyone is upset:
Advertising itself as “the hardest game on Steam” Journey of the Light follows a lone light bulb on its way home. Claiming to be a game with 7 highly difficult chapters, Journey of the Light is supposedly a puzzle game where you are only given little hints that are scattered throughout the forest on how to solve each level.
The problem is that in reality there is only one level, with no solution, and no way to advance. So when the product description page asks, “Can you solve all 7 Chapters?”, the answer is a very objective “no”.
No I cannot beat seven levels of a game that actually only contains one level with no existing way to complete it.
When the game starts it’ll load levels 1-5, but if you notice the date and time in which the files were created they are all the exact same. Hell, even the file sizes for each of them are exactly the same. So if you still don’t think some sketchy business is going on here, then try loading up level 5, or 4, or 3, or maybe even 2, because the result will be the same, each of them will load Chapter 1 of the game. Also, don’t get your hopes up for levels 6-11 either because loading those up will also start Chapter 1, once again.
The funny thing is that there are achievements for beating each of the chapters, but the only person to have received a single achievement for beating a level is the developer himself. And even he only has achievements for supposedly beating the first 3 chapters. No one on earth has achievements for chapters 4 and up. And to make matters worse this dude has the audacity to criticize Steam’s new refund policy as being what has damaged his sales.
Uh, no Lord Kres—the only thing that is hurting your sales is your broken game. The developer has tried to make excuses that he introduced a bug during the last update and that he will need to perform a rollback. But days later nothing has changed, and no one was really falling for that kind of obvious damage control anyhow.
So kudos to Steam for doing the right thing here and allowing an exception to their refund policy for all those affected by this fake game. You can still view its page with its mounds of negative reviews here.