The Town of Light

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The Town of Light
The Town of Light cover art.jpg
Platform(s)Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
  • PC
  • February 26, 2016
  • PS4, Xbox One
  • June 6, 2017[1]
  • Nintendo Switch
  • March 31, 2019

The Town of Light is a psychological horror adventure game developed by LKA. It was released for PC on February 26, 2016[2] and PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on June 6, 2017.[1][3] On February 1, 2018, a Nintendo Switch version was confirmed.


The game is set in a hospital in Tuscany, Italy called the Ospedale Psichiatrico di Volterra.[4] The player character is a girl named Renée who was a patient at the hospital in the 1940s. The game begins as Renee enters the now dilapidated asylum to relive her stay there.[5] As the game progresses, it becomes known that Renee was admitted due to promiscuity, depression, and a volatile relationship with her mother. Renee found comfort in her doll Charlotte.

Renee walks the corridors of the derelict asylum which triggers flashbacks of both her inpatient stay and circumstances prior. It is implied that Renee was a victim of sexual abuse[6] within the asylum perpetrated by a male nurse or doctor. Renee discovers Amara, another patient and a romance ensues. When the nurses discovered this relationship they were separated.

Renee finds her old medical files which imply that Amara did not exist and that they are figments of her imagination. After thorough investigation in the patient property section, Renee finds Amara's possessions, thus proving her existence and that the medical team falsified some aspects of her mental illness.

A note found by Renee reads that Amara passed away in 1942. Medical notes found whilst searching the facility imply that Renee was verbally and physically aggressive and often spent time tied to her bed. Renee receives electroconvulsive therapy and multiple sedative injections to ease behavioural symptoms.

Renee discovers that correspondence from her Mother does not reach her and this is also discovered in the patient property section.

After several years of communication censoring by hospital staff, Renee discovers that her mother passed away and tried to take her own life on multiple occasions. Following this, the game's conclusion shows Renee receiving lobotomy surgery. The story ends with a doctor narrating that the long term recovery for Renee post surgery is unclear.[7][8]


The game received mixed reception with an overall score of 64/100, according to Metacritic.[9] According to Mike Diver, The Town of Light is scary with up to 6000 psychiatric patients.[10] In The Daily Telegraph, Tom Hoggins says that a pacifying drug was not discovered until the 1950s, as told by di Piazza.[11] Also, a score of 3/5 was rated for The Daily Telegraph, where Tom Hoggins says "When you are mad, you cease to exist".[12] In Rock, Paper, Shotgun, it was claimed by Luca Dalco that this is not really a horror game.[13] Also, it said that the goals for the game were to be a recreation of the Volterra asylum and to be aware of things no one really talks about.[14] A three-part series for PC Gamer explains how Lorenzo Conticelli designed the asylum setting for the game.[15][16][17]


  1. ^ a b "The Town of Light – Release Date Issued". Thumb Culture. May 6, 2017. Retrieved May 14, 2017.
  2. ^ "Psychological Thriller Town of Light Release Date Confirmed". IGN. October 29, 2015. Retrieved May 14, 2017.
  3. ^ "The Town of Light Preview". IGN. May 6, 2017. Retrieved May 14, 2017.
  4. ^ "The Town Of Light: a unique psychological horror videogame". Retrieved 20 October 2018.
  5. ^ Hester, Blake (7 June 2017). "The Town Of Light Review". Retrieved 20 October 2018.
  6. ^ "'The Town of Light' Leverages Reality to Portray Survival Horror". 4 July 2017. Retrieved 20 October 2018.
  7. ^ "The Town of Light review: A grim and unblinking psychological horror". Ars Technica. Retrieved May 13, 2017.
  8. ^ "The Town of Light is a first-person asylum game without jump scares". Eurogamer. 22 July 2015. Retrieved May 13, 2017.
  9. ^ "The Town of Light for PC Reviews - Metacritic". Metacritic. Retrieved May 13, 2017.
  10. ^ "'The Town of Light' Is a Scary Game With a Serious Message On Mental Health". Vice. Retrieved 12 July 2017.
  11. ^ "The Town of Light: How a video game is shining a torch on the history of mental health institutes". Retrieved 12 July 2017.
  12. ^ "The Town of Light is a gruelling but worthy exploration of a wretched era in mental therapy". Retrieved 15 August 2017.
  13. ^ Smith, Adam (29 January 2016). "True Horror: The Town Of Light's Historical Inspirations". Retrieved 12 July 2017.
  14. ^ Meer, Alec (21 July 2015). "The Asylum Horror Game That Isn't A Horror Game". Retrieved 12 July 2017.
  15. ^ "The Town of Light talks atmosphere, environments and handling mental health with sensitivity". Retrieved 12 July 2017.
  16. ^ "The Town of Light on researching its sensitive themes and Volterra asylum setting". Retrieved 12 July 2017.
  17. ^ "The Town of Light sidesteps jump scares by retelling real life events". Retrieved 12 July 2017.

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