Light the Flower Review

Gaming


Light the Flower

Publisher: Chillingo
Developer: Tribe Flame
Platforms: iPhone (reviewed), iPod Touch, iPad
Release Date: March 22nd, 2012
Price: $0.99 (BUY NOW)

Overview
Light the Flower is a cutesy game in which you position mirrors to reflect sunlight onto all flowers in a level. It’s a puzzle game, to be sure, but not your usual physics-based Angry Birds clone. Instead, you’ll be dealing with bouncing light around the level, feeding plants until they dance with life.

Story
There is no story. Flowers need your help! Are you going to deny them the light they need to survive?!

Gameplay
In each level, you’ll first be presented with a black and white room, with colorful key pieces you’ll have to use to complete the puzzle. Once you begin manipulating these pieces, the background will fill with colors once more.

The main thing you’ll be doing throughout this game is moving and rotating mirrors in order to reflect the light around the level, around any obstacles, and finally reaching the plant, or plants, of that level. There are, at times, different colour plants, each with their own personalities and animations, but more importantly, requiring different colour light to feed them. So to feed a red plant, for example, you’ll have to direct the light through a color filter, and then onto the plant itself.

As you progress through the levels and stages, you’ll be introduced to more pieces; prisms, switches, torches, and even light-activated bombs. There are even levels where the power has been cut, and the room is pitch black, letting you only see what the beams of light show you.

Each level also has three gold stars, which you’ll need to pass light through if you want a perfect score. These collected stars also unlock more rooms and stages as you go along. It can be a little annoying that the level will end once light has been shone onto the flowers for a certain amount of time; especially if you’re trying to line up the rays just right to get that last tricky star you need. But overall, this doesn’t become too much of a problem.

After each level, you are scored based on the time taken to complete it, the number of stars you collected, and how many flowers you kept alive. You can then Quit, Retry, or go onto the Next level. There’s also a little achievements tab you can tap on to the left of the screen. As far as I can see, these are only “save all the flowers in a particular house”. From the main menu, however, there is further social elements integrated with the Crystal platform.

This game will be great for puzzle fans. And while it has a similar cutesy art style to other puzzlers out there, and the gameplay has been likened to Hellsing’s Fire, this title is unique and fun to play. The way the light behaves is simple and intuitive, and once you get your head around how light bounces off of mirrors and such, you’ll find solving the puzzles to be straightforward to execute, but challenging to solve; just how it should be.

Audio & Visual
The art style in this game is very nice indeed. The backgrounds are nicely painted, with colorful palettes that change with each “house”, or stage you play through. The flowers dance when they’re being fed light, each with their own distinctive animations and personalities.

The light is made up of individual rays streaming in from one or more windows  to one side of the level. Traveling these rays are happy little mini-suns, making it easy to determine the ray’s direction. The rays also cause some sort of heat displacement-like effect on the background, a nice touch.

The music is pleasant enough, the happy, cartoony music complementing the art style perfectly. The sound effects, too, do a good job of bringing the colorful characters alive. The audio clues are useful, too, with sounds effects associated with sunlight being fed into a plant.

Each plant has it’s own character, including both sighs of disappointment when you move the sunlight away from them, and squeals of joy when you put it back on them. It’s all quite endearing and keeps the atmosphere, no matter how stuck you may be on a particular puzzle, happy and fun.

Overall
If you like the kind of head-scratcher puzzles so popular in the casual mobile-gaming market today, then you’ll love this game. And if you just find puzzlers annoying and a waste of time, then you likely won’t be swayed by Light the Flower’s wonderfully bright and colorful aesthetic.

7-5-capsules-out-of-10

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