LightUp is a quality puzzle game from Perpetuum Media, one that uses the features of the iPhone well, making an enjoyable and tough game that, while no classic is worth a look for anyone in need of a challenge.
LightUp is a game where you have to guide coloured light beams to their destinations, which are like-coloured LEDs hanging in space. The light beams shoot off from fixed points around each level, and you must place tools and items in the correct places in order to guide the beams correctly.
The tools are located at the bottom of the screen, and you can drag them around with your finger to place them in your chosen area. Once placed, a tap of each one will rotate it, and it is a combination of these two elements that will solve each puzzle.
It isn’t as simple as it sounds, as each level is at the very least tricky, with some of the later puzzles proving to be real cerebral challenges. In fact, some of them really do seem impossible, and it is one of those games where you have to put it down for a while and come back to it to make everything ‘click’. I like this aspect of the game, as this really is not a casual puzzle game in any sense of the word. There is help available in the form of a link the the app’s Facebook page, where there are plenty of help and tips.
There are 45 levels in the game, which may not sound a lot, but when you consider the fact that some of these puzzles can take hours to solve, I feel there is good value for money here in the main mode. There are some ‘switch’ levels where you have to manually switch the light beams on, giving a nice sprinkling of variety to the levels.
The graphics are fantastic for a puzzle game, with lovely neon stylings, nice lighting effects on the beams, and a superb little warp sequence between the stages. When you add this to the moody soundtrack and gameplay, you have an experience that is immersive and refreshing.
The game is all based around getting the best time in each level, trying to beat the ‘par’ set for each stage. The clock ticks away, and really speeds up if you accidently shoot one of your beams into a black hole. There is a local high score table, but no Game Center integration, which is a real missed opportunity for the game. Having online highscore contests with your friends would have been a great addition to the game.
That is really the only problem with LightUp, a lack of extra features. A couple of different modes, achievements, online high scores or even a way of playing back the excellent soundtrack seperately would have all been great, but as the game stands, it does feel a little empty.
Overall, I don’t feel that the lack of extras really holds the game back too much, as the brilliantly tough puzzles, memorable visuals and sonics, and fun gameplay make this one that hardcore puzzle fans really shouldn’t miss.