Guide the Light is a recently released iOS game from Appynation & Phasic Labs, where the object is to, not to sound redundant, guide beams of light from their point of origin to their destination so that a little 36-bit archaeologist can get to the gem on the other side of a wall. Of course, this is easier said than done. While initial levels are easy enough to get through, the game is constantly placing new obstacles in your path, whether it’s trap-triggering barrels, moving wall tiles that threaten to crush you and thereby force you to limit your moves, or just ever more twists and turns for the light to pass through on its way home. Guide the Light is a brain-teaser that makes you think ahead and plan your moves to progress.
Gameplay is simple but fiendishly complex. The point is to guide the light from its point of origin to its similarly colored destination. The rub is that along the way, you have to wind the light through various passages via angled mirrors, past various obstacles like light-splitting boxes, and through various similarly colored crystals. Each additional obstacle is preceded by an explanation, so it’s not like the developers just spring these new challenges on you, and for those real tough challenges when you want to throw in the towel, they put in a solution “crystal” through which the archaeologist sees how to solve the puzzle. One thing I liked about this bit was that you could stop it at any point, so you don’t have to watch the whole solution after you discovered your snafu.
The puzzles really make you think ahead, too. I’m stuck on puzzle 16, which introduces the trap-triggering barrels, specifically a trapdoor under the archaeologist, so I’m having to think ahead ten or twenty moves to make sure the light doesn’t hit any obstacles. You really have to admire the symmetry of some of these solutions as well. One puzzle was shaped like a parallelogram, and it took me a bit to figure out how simple the solution was, but it was a singular pleasure when I found that eureka moment. Such is the pleasure of this game.
FINAL SCORE: 8/10
Being that it’s a mobile game, the screen size will be lacking, but that works out well. What you’ll be focusing on is finding that bridge over troubled waters more than anything else. The ONLY problem with it, if you want to call it such, is that Guide the Light is targeted toward hardened puzzle gamers. The solution is available for those of us less inclined to this genre, but that moment of joy upon completion is never more than a moment of calm contemplation away.
Guide The Light is available now from the iTunes App Store.