I want to start off by saying I love puzzle games and any game with puzzle solving elements. I enjoy a truly complex challenge while refusing any sort of hints on how to solve them. Like an (almost) 30-year-old toddler, I absolutely have to figure things out for myself. These personal preferences are what makes Linelight such a difficult game for me to review. On one hand, it forces you to figure out every puzzle on your own. On the other hand, the game can be fairly easy to get through. It requires no real work to solve the majority of its puzzles and little depth to its short campaign.
With a top-down, 2D approach, Linelight is excruciatingly straightforward. You’re tasked with navigating a small streak of white light through lines reminiscent of old circuit boards. After an understandably brief intro you’re on your way through the land of video game circuitry.
I can feel the love put into this game. It comes through in its flawless execution. It shines in the silky-smooth transitions from one level to the next. The music is fantastic, if you’re trying to sleep. The soft lullaby-like tones could put a meth-head on a Red Bull binge down for hours. This is a game that is truly meant to relax and unwind with. It’s best to shut off your mind, enjoy the pretty colors and go with the flow. It’s an inspired piece of work made by a small developer that deserves credit for a strong effort.
” I could see how this could have been a great mobile game to spend a couple minutes on at a time, but not so much as a standalone console game to sit with for extended sessions.”
Each new world provides a new gameplay mechanic to modify the layout of the puzzle usually involving one button to control other actions on screen. These gameplay mechanics are eventually combined to make for some moderately challenging moments. The type of moments where you know the solution is insanely easy to find but you just can’t get it. When you figure out the answer you mutter “Oh, that was stupid.” It could be argued that this is a case of gameplay being too simplified and too straightforward. I could see how this could have been a great mobile game to spend a couple minutes on at a time, but not so much as a standalone console game to sit with for extended sessions.
The worlds are impressively large. Optional puzzles are all over the maps on your quest. They can provide more of a challenge than the main path puzzles should you choose to pursue them. It was only in these side puzzles that I found myself lost a few times.
My Dog Zorro pulled a page out of Pac-Man designing its gameplay with different colored lines that are out to get you. Some are attracted to you. Some only move to match our little hero light and some are in perpetual motion moving around without regard for any light’s safety. Most puzzles rely on timing and matching movements of opposing lights.
Linelight is a solid attempt to change things up. It gets major points on its design and structure. The care taken trying to craft something new and original is commendable. I can’t guarantee you’ll walk away totally satisfied or with a tremendous sense of accomplishment but you will enjoy the trip. And as any true existentialist can attest to, it’s all about the journey and not the destination.
***A PS4 code was provided by the publisher***
- Great execution
- Beautiful in its simplicity
- Side puzzles
- Lack of substance
- Little satisfaction
- A bit too minimalist