With a gentle voice softly chanting a poem, a candle wearing copper jumpsuit curiously looks at itself in an antique mirror. Departing from a sunken ship and lighting up other tiny candles like himself, he started his journey to find the truth of light. This is Candleman (蜡烛人), an adventure indie game developed by Spotlightor Interactive (交典创艺) that allows players to control a tiny candle which can only burn for 10 seconds.

Since February 1, 2018, after its formal debut on Steam, the world’s largest game studio, Candleman received Steam grade “Very Positive (96% satisfaction, 320 total reviews)”. On April 13, 2018, Candleman topped App Store (China)’s paid game list. Florence, one of the 2018 Apple Design Award winners, ranked 4th. On June 12, Candleman was selected as one of Apple Store (UK)’s Best Puzzle Games.

The gaming industry in China has been demonstrating strong commercial potential. Industrial research platform Newzoo predicts that US and China will take half of the $113 billion global games market in 2018. Revenues of Tencent’s mobile games alone hit RMB 21.7 billion in the first quarter of 2018. Amid strong performance of China’s gaming industry, the local indie game industry remains lesser known, and not all of them are as successful and lucky as Candleman. Indie game developers are carefully playing among hungry major companies, hoping to take the chance to grow and meanwhile guard their independence.

Start your free trial now.

Get instant access to all our premium content, archives, newsletters, and online community.

Monthly Membership

Yearly Membership

What you get

Full access to all premium content and our full archives

Members'-only newsletters

Preferential access and discounts to all TechNode events

Direct access to the TechNode newsroom

Start your free trial now.

Get instant access to all our premium content, archives, newsletters, and online community.

Monthly Membership

Yearly Membership

Runhua Zhao

Runhua Zhao is a technology reporter based in Beijing. Connect with her via email: runhuazhao@technode.com