The Town of Light (2016)

by Christopher
6 minutes read


The Town of Light: A Haunting Journey into the Depths of Madness


The Town of Light is a psychological adventure game developed by and released in 2016. Set in the Volterra Psychiatric Hospital in Italy, the game tells the story of Renée, a young woman searching for answers about her past. Through exploration and interaction with the environment, players piece together the fragmented memories of Renée’s time in the hospital and uncover the dark secrets that lie within its walls.


The Town of Light is a first-person exploration game with a strong focus on narrative and atmosphere. Players control Renée as she explores the abandoned hospital, uncovering clues about her past and the patients who once resided there. The game features a variety of puzzles that must be solved in order to progress, as well as optional side quests that provide additional backstory and character development.

One of the unique aspects of The Town of Light is its use of multiple timelines. Players can switch between the present day and Renée’s memories, allowing them to see the hospital and its inhabitants from different perspectives. This mechanic is used to great effect to create a sense of mystery and suspense, as players slowly piece together the events that led to Renée’s hospitalization.

Setting and Atmosphere

The Town of Light is set in the Volterra Psychiatric Hospital, a real-world location that operated from 1888 to 1978. The game’s developers meticulously recreated the hospital based on historical資料, resulting in an incredibly immersive and authentic setting. The dilapidated buildings, overgrown courtyards, and haunting medical equipment all contribute to a palpable sense of unease and decay.

The game’s atmosphere is further enhanced by its use of sound and lighting. The soundtrack is sparse and unsettling, featuring eerie ambient noises and occasional bursts of discordant music. The lighting is often dim and flickering, casting long shadows that dance across the walls and creating a sense of claustrophobia and paranoia.


The Town of Light features a small cast of characters, each with their own unique story and perspective on the events that transpired at the hospital.

  • Renée is the game’s protagonist, a young woman who is searching for answers about her past. She is a complex and sympathetic character, and her journey of self-discovery is at the heart of the game’s narrative.
  • Dr. Conti is the director of the hospital. He is a enigmatic and authoritarian figure, and his methods of treatment are often questionable.
  • Leonardo is a fellow patient at the hospital. He is a gentle and compassionate man who befriends Renée and helps her to uncover the truth about her past.


The Town of Light explores a number of dark and disturbing themes, including mental illness, abuse, and the horrors of war. The game does not shy away from depicting the harsh realities of life in a psychiatric hospital in the early 20th century, and it forces players to confront the prejudices and misconceptions that surrounded mental illness at the time.

The game also touches on the theme of memory and the ways in which it can be both a blessing and a curse. Renée’s fragmented memories of her time in the hospital are unreliable and often contradictory, and players must carefully piece together the clues to uncover the truth about her past.


The Town of Light received generally positive reviews from critics, who praised its immersive atmosphere, compelling narrative, and strong characters. The game was also nominated for several awards, including the Game Developers Choice Award for Best Debut.


The Town of Light is a powerful and thought-provoking game that takes players on a haunting journey into the depths of madness. Its immersive atmosphere, compelling narrative, and strong characters make it a must-play for fans of psychological horror and historical fiction.

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