When most people think mobile games these days, they usually think of Apple’s iPhone. With it’s fast processor and near-ubiquitous App Store there’s almost little incentive to make games for other phone services aside from probably one other mobile platform. I am, of course, talking about Google — father of all things “internet” — and the mobile OS known as Android.
Sitting on Android right now is a huge game’s catalog. Probably not as big as the iPhone’s, but nothing to knock regardless. While there are some mainstream titles, the service is also overflowing with the types of indie games that we love here on DIYgamer.com. Which is why, starting today, we are gonna be reviewing Android games along with iPhone, PC, Xbox, etc. games starting with Chicken Brick Studios’ own LightUp. A fun, little puzzle game that can take up a few minutes of your time or up to an hour depending on how much time you want to kill.
LightUp is not a unique game, but it is a fun addition to the Android marketplace. The concept is simple. From a single starting point in each level you must “light up” a path and cover every single square without crossing over any part of the path you already created. While the concept seems simple the game actually gets pretty tough and makes for some good challenges.
In addition to the traditional mode wherein you start with a single point to begin your path, there is also another game mode that starts you off with three points. While it does make the game much tougher — especially on the hard difficulty setting — it also gives the game a new dynamic which makes it feel fresh and different instead of “more of the same”.
Finally, Chicken Brick also graced the game with a third mode called Backtrack which is actually a bit of a departure from the other two modes. In this mode you are not attempting to light up a path but, rather, “unlight” a path. Now this may seem easy as you could just follow any straight path back over everything, but Chicken Brick actually mixed it up in a couple of ways. First, your still stuck to a path and anything you cross over that isn’t lit up already will, in fact, light up. Second, the game only gives you a specific set of moves before you lose. This means you can’t just putz around attempting to get every block, your moves must be coordinated. It was actually a nice departure from the traditional game that LightUp is and I’m sure fans of the other modes will enjoy this one equally as much, I know I did.
The graphics for LightUp aren’t anything to write home about. They aren’t particularly bad, but there certainly wasn’t anything amazing. The game is just set in some sort of space theme with white and blue blocks that you must create a path over. It’s a very simple design layout. In fact, I’d say the setting actually gets a bit stale after a while.
The music, on the other hand, was pretty good. It’s nothing I’d listen to as a soundtrack or anything, but the game has a nice jingle to it that can get stuck in your head and that’s not necessarily a bad thing either.
No story here, keep on walking.
My biggest conundrum with LightUp, and it’s actually a big deal considering this is a touch interface game, is that the touch detection wasn’t always there. Sometimes I’d have to poke around for a few seconds before the game would pick up that I was attempting to make a path and even then the game would sometimes “lose interest” in what I was doing half-way through creating a path. It was very annoying to have a touch sensitive game that did not respond to all of my touches.
Bottomline, LightUp is a fairly good puzzle Android game. While the presentation could be better, and the touch sensitivity could be cranked up a few notches, the game itself is actually pretty fun, especially if your just a casual fan of the genre. While the game costs $3.99 and offers 125 levels, there is also a “Lite” version available that will allow you to try the game before you buy, something I’d recommend in a heartbeat… since it’s free.