I’ve always preferred games that make you think a bit to those that test your twitch reflexes, and portable touch screen devices have proven to be a perfect match for puzzle games. I have to say that the sub-genre of light bending conundrums has been among my least favorite, however, in large part due to the fact that it usually doesn’t take long before I get stuck and can’t move on. Light The Flower showed me that it has as much to do with the presentation as anything. Sure there are times where I still get stuck, but in the end it’s always worth the struggle to hear the content reactions of a satisfied flower.
Your task is simple: a bunch of house plants are sad and it’s up to you to cheer them up. Thankfully all they want is a little bit of sunlight, but delivering it might not be as easy as you’d think. Each room has one or more windows to let the light in and one or more plants to absorb it. In between the windows and plants are plenty of everyday household objects. To get around these objects you’ll have to position mirrors around the room to appropriately reflect the light. You might also have to trigger a switch or other item, and most flowers also require you to pass the light through a filter so that the resulting beam matches their color. And then there are the three stars to collect on each level.
Everything you need to do can be accomplished by moving mirrors around the screen. Tap on a mirror and drag to reposition it, or use two fingers to grab the “handles” on the sides of the mirror to rotate it. Sometimes rotating the mirrors can be a finicky affair, and you have to be careful where you drag mirrors because it’s possible to get a mirror inadvertently locked into place because it’s caught in the scope of another mirror’s handles. All in all the controls work, though I’m thankful I’m playing this on an iPad because I think it would be more difficult to rotate on the smaller iPod Touch screen.
The game currently has 5 houses with 12 levels each. You can earn up to three stars on a level by make sure the rays of light hit the stars on their way to the flowers. To unlock the next level in a house you must beat the current one, and to unlock a new house you have to earn a certain number of stars. The game has achievements, but like many of Chillingo’s products it uses Crystal instead of one of the big two social networks.
I realize Chillingo’s collection of games comes from a variety of different developers, but they tend to be some of the highest quality in terms of graphics, and Light The Flower is no exception. The houses are detailed and I like how they start off “lightless” and fill with color after you move your first mirror. The flowers are full of personality, which actually helps you to feel sorry for them when they aren’t getting any light. The sound effects compound this empathy as each flower has its own positive and negative reaction when they are basked in light and then it is taken away. The music is good and does an excellent job of promoting the laid back atmosphere of the game, but it seems like there is only one track.
Now I’m not saying I’m going to run out and grab every “light and mirror” game that exists on the iOS platform. Games like Light The Flower do help validate in my mind the fact that Chillingo knows how to pick a decent IP, however. They seem to have a knack for publishing games that will tickle my fancy, even in genres that I’m not particularly fond of. If you love brain teasers and can’t resists cute, giggly flowers that can even make manly men smile, you really should give Light The Flower a try.
|Title:||Light The Flower||Developer:||Chillingo Ltd|
|Reviewed Ver:||Min OS Req:||3.0|