Every now and then, a game comes by that takes you completely by surprise and charms you silly. Linelight is that game. Puzzle games don’t tend to get the recognition that other genres do, but when done correctly, they can contain more creativity than any other, and Linelight is truly bursting with it.
My Dog Zorro have taken the concept of puzzling down to its simplest form, which has given them the freedom to create ingenious puzzles for you to wrap your head around. But don’t let this idea fool you. Thanks to a lovely use of bloom effects, it looks great and the pleasant music and lack of hard notes when you fail creates a serene experience like no other.
The concept is simple: you move a line across a series of other lines to the goal. This then leads into another puzzle where you do the same. As the game goes on, variations on this theme constantly come up; you have clones that follow you, red lines that hurt you, switches, keys and lines that only move when you do Superhot style. Figuring out how these react to your movements is imperative to success.
Each of these elements is introduced in such a way that you immediately know what they do. There’s no need for lengthy tutorials or on screen prompts, just a little bit of observation and you’ll be on your way. Each new mechanic doesn’t overstay its welcome either. All too often games introduce something only to discard it soon after. Linelight keeps everything around for just the right amount of time before introducing something new and integrating it into what you’ve already learned. Eventually you’ll be successfully reversing a lengthened line back across the grid, weaving in and out of red lines without even realizing how swiftly your fingers are dancing across the keys. It really does drag you in.
If there’s something to be said against Linelight, it’s that it lacks a little in terms of challenge. However, puzzle games, much like quizzes, are only easy if you know the answers and difficulty is subjective to many. Presented is a relaxing trip with enough to get those brain cells firing while not frustrating those looking to unwind.
It is entirely possible to lose yourself in Linelight–if my PC’s battery alert hadn’t snapped me out of it, I probably would have been playing it from dusk until dawn. It completely bewitches you, making you want to keep going and going. The way it all works together from the looks to the sound to how the puzzles flow is ingenious, with the amount of times I said to myself “Ooh, that’s clever!” being too numerous to count. I started by thinking Linelight looked like an interesting curio, and ended up falling in love.
Superb minimalist design
Potentially lacking in challenge