Review – Steven Universe: Save the Light

I have previously talked about my soft spot regarding licensed games, and how I miss the days THQ would basically release a Nickelodeon or movie-themed game a week, even if most of them were pretty much forgettable. Not long ago, I reviewed Adventure Time: Pirates of the Enchiridion, a turn-based RPG for the Switch, and was impressed by its overall combat system and sense of humor. Here I am, about a month later, reviewing yet another turn-based RPG based around another Cartoon Network franchise. This time around, we’re tackling Steven Universe: Save the Light.


Steven has a Gamecube. Mad respect, bruh.

Steven Universe: Save the Light is a heavily Paper Mario-inspired RPG with a healthy dose of color and a very low difficulty just so anyone can enjoy it. It takes inspiration from Nintendo’s RPG magnum opus in more than one way. Not only are the graphics similar in style, with 2D characters interacting in a polygonal environment, but the game also features sidekicks with special abilities that are used to solve puzzles on the overworld, as well as a very simple but rewarding combat system featuring timed button presses. It’s easy for any kid to pick up and play, but also rewarding for veterans of the genre, if they can stand the fact that they will probably never going to die in this game.


Even when facing life-threatening monsters, Steven is always smiling.

The visual style isn’t the only element that will please fans of the Steven Universe series. The game also features original voice acting from the show’s main cast. Unlike Pirates of the Enchiridion, in which everyone would talk a lot at all times, the characters in Save the Light aren’t as talkative in comparison. Extensive lines of dialogue are basically reserved to plot-heavy scenes, while a few quips and one-liners are delivered during combat sections. Everything is extremely light-hearted and saccarine to the point it made my pancreas scream in agony.

If I had to point out a major flaw in the game, however, it would be the camera. Once again going back to Paper Mario, Save the Light doesn’t feature any command for you to freely control the camera around you. You’re basically dependent on the game’s will. It will frequently change angles and zoom and/or out depending on the situation, but that will occasionally make your characters disappear from the screen, as well as instantly revert your movement controls. It’s something you can get used to, but it needs to be pointed out.


It’s like he knows me.

Despite not being very deep or engaging for an RPG, I have to admit I had a lot more fun than expected with Save the Light. I’m not exactly a Steven Universe fan in any way and still managed to have a good time with its adorable design, impressive length (at least for a licensed game) and simple, Paper Mario-esque combat system. If you’re a fan of the show or if you’re just looking for yet another casual but entertaining turn-based RPG (if you haven’t purchased Pirates of the Enchiridion yet), I’d say give Save the Light a try. You could do a lot worse.


Graphics: 8.0

A mixture between high-quality cartoon graphics for the characters and simple but charming polygons for the backgrounds. It works well enough.

Gameplay: 7.0

The combat system borrows some neat elements from Paper Mario, which is always a positive. The overworld controls are decent, but the camera has an annoying mind of its own.

Sound: 7.5

There’s a bit of voice acting in here, all performed by the show’s original cast. The soundtrack is decent but it’s not very memorable.

Fun Factor: 7.0

Despite not having the most immersive world out there, nor the deepest combat system, it’s still a fun and light-hearted RPG that pleases both fans and not-fans of the show.

Final Verdict: 7.5

Reviewed on PC.
Steven Universe: Save the Light is available now on PS4, Xbox One and PC.
A copy of Steven Universe: Save the Light was provided by the publisher.