Light the Flower|
I’m a big fan of “light puzzles” whether it’s Indiana Jones figuring out the location of the Lost Well of Souls, or me refracting white light into multiple colors using a prism in the NDS game, Prism. Light is a great puzzle-solving tool because, not only can it be split into various colors, it can easily be reflected and bounced around to create some intriguing free-thinking solutions to some complex situations.
In Chillingo’s latest mobile app, Light the Flower, you are asked to do simply that – light the flower, or flowers in some situations. In each of the 60 progressively challenging levels you will need to redirect sunlight that streams in through a window by using a limited supply of mirrors to bounce the light from its source to a rather depressed looking flower. Naturally, things get tricky when specific colored flowers require specific colored light, forcing you to pass the light through a matching colored lens that you cannot move, while other levels require you to pass the beam through a crystal to split the light into multiple smaller beams.
If reaching the flower were your only concern Light the Flower would be a breeze, but the game also asks that you pass the light through up to three gold stars that are strategically placed around the level. This ramps up the challenge significantly, forcing you to tap that high school geometry knowledge on angles and such. And in later levels you need to light up multiple flowers, sometimes using different colors of light. Controls are simple enough; just tap and drag the mirrors around the level then rotate them to bounce the light in the desired direction. You can fine-tune your angles by touching further away from the center of the mirror. With furniture and even walls blocking your way, you'll need to come up with some pretty clever solutions, of which there are many for each level.
Light the Flower is a charming experience that starts off easy enough but quickly ramps up in difficulty about the time you reach the third house – houses are the way the game sorts the puzzles. My one and only very minor complaint is that the puzzle will end as soon as all the flowers receives a full dose of light; even if you are still trying to figure out how to get the stars. This means you have to be very careful to place the final mirror last or risk losing your carefully setup solution and having to start from scratch.
The presentation is cute with bold colors and a simple floor plan level design that mirrors familiar indoor locations. The flowers are nicely animated and make interesting noises while they wait and eventually feed on the light you send them. There are even animated smiley sun particles that travel along the sunbeam. The pleasant music can get repetitive at times, but it never bothered me. It fits the theme of the puzzle genre just fine.
Light the Flower is a de-LIGHT-ful little game fun for the entire family. It’s universal so it works on iPhone and iPad. I played the game on both and found it a bit easier to manage on the larger iPad screen. Working out some of those rotation angles on the smaller iPhone got tricky. With 60 levels and the likely possibility of more on the way, plus the obsessive quest for three stars on every level, expect to spend a couple of weeks tending to your droopy flowers with this highly entertaining and addictive new game.