Light in the Dark ($1.99) by Dreamgate Studios is a charming physics-based puzzle game that will keep you entertained in your downtime. If you enjoyed titles like God of Light and Third Eye Crime, then you will enjoy Light in the Dark, as it’s similar.
When I need a break from frustrating twitch reflex games, I enjoy a good puzzle game to help calm me down while still stimulating my mind. I have a ton of puzzle games on my iPhone, but truth be told, I can never have enough of these. When I saw Light in the Dark in the App Store, I was intrigued and had to try it out for myself.
The visuals in Light in the Dark are cartoonish, so it’s definitely a game that is friendly enough for the entire family. I love the cute “Totems” that you will meet along the way — they’re adorable, especially the babies, and the game has some beautifully animated cutscenes. The environments are colorful, lush, and filled with detail. The Totems themselves bounce with personality, so it’s hard to not fall in love with them. Animations in the game are pretty smooth, and the music is upbeat and quirky.
The game takes place in Egypt, though it seems that the developer has more locations planned in the future with the “Coming Soon” label. In the Egypt area, there are four tombs that you can light your way through (the Pharaoh’s Tomb is also coming), with each of them having 20 levels, along with four bonus stages. You start with just the first tomb area, but you can gain access to the rest by unlocking them with the appropriate number of stars. Stars are earned by lighting them up in the puzzles as you rescue the babies.
The goal of each level is to rescue the babies who have gotten lost in the pyramids of Egypt. Unfortunately, they have fallen asleep, and the only way to wake and save them is by having their parents light them up. The babies also need light that matches their color, and sometimes you will need to mix light to create a new color in order to wake up a little one. All of this is easier said than done, of course, as there will be obstacles that get in the way of the light emanating from the parent Totems.
The controls in the game are simple. To move the parents around to light the place up, just tap-and-drag them with your finger. As they move around, the light that radiates from them will squeeze through every crevice and crack, hopefully reaching the babies and stars. There will be objects that will block, bounce, or bend the light, so make sure you’re aware of them as you go. When the light gets to the babies, you will want to release your finger and let the bar fill up in order to complete the stage.
If you are stuck on a level, you can use a hint to help you get started. Unfortunately, you start out with three, and the game forces you to use one in the “tutorial,” so you end up with two after that. When those are used up, they developer wants you to buy more hints through in-app purchases. As much as I dislike freemium games, I dislike paid games with in-app purchases for stuff like this even more. But hey, if you’re great with puzzles like this, then you won’t need to use the hints.
There is Game Center integration for achievements, but no leaderboards. I think it would be nice to have leaderboards in the future, so you can compete with friends as to who can complete a level the fastest and in as few moves as possible.
Despite my annoyance with the hints, I’m finding Light in the Dark to be an enjoyable puzzle game to relax with after a long day. I love the graphics and fun soundtrack, and the puzzles themselves are pretty challenging. If you’re a fan of light-bending puzzle games like this, then Light in the Dark is worth a look.