Linelight by My Dog Zorro is literally a linear game. The point is to move your beam of light from A to B, then from B to C with an enemy beam patrolling the route, then from C to D. Each world offers a new mechanic and puzzle that increase in difficulty. This, however, is surrounded by a relaxing soundtrack that makes Linelight a pleasant experience.

Very Puzzling

Each level in the game is roughly a new screen. When you enter, there’s usually one exit that you need to get to and a yellow shard to pick up along the way. Like all good puzzle games, Linelight starts you slow with the basics and builds on each lesson, allowing you to combine the tricks you’ve learned to more advanced puzzles. The game is split into six different worlds and each one focuses on a specific rule or set of rules with very little overlap. While the game seems simple enough it did provide me roughly three hours worth of gameplay to complete, including the time necessary to solve some of the trickier puzzles.

Linelight_01

Enemies in the game are represented by different lights that follow their own movement triggers. There’s a basic red light that moves every second or so along the path, an orange light that moves when you do, and a purple light that will move when you attract it to you. There are other mechanics you must deal with as well, such as becoming a longer bar of light, that lets a relatively small set of enemies stay fresh. While the game seems simple, the comlexities of the puzzles and different behaviors of the lights make the game impossible to put down. You will die a lot in ways that you didn’t expect, however, while playing I understood how and why I died and could replay the level until I was able to solve the puzzle. There are no limitations to how often you can replay a particular level.

Light Story (Sort of)

Each world culminates in a final puzzle set where you team up with the main enemy light type from that region. Your track will run almost a mirror image of the enemy light’s track and the two of you will help the other advance through the different obstacles. Flip a switch on your side, you move them up to the next level where they do the same for you. These sequences are very limited and you can’t really fail them as long as you keep moving forward on the track.

Now seems like the time to point out that there isn’t really a story to Linelight, but there are abstract plot elements. As you move through these final sequences and help your ‘partner’ light along the way, you’ll reach the end and this somber melody starts playing. Your two parallel tracks start to diverge and suddenly this other light you’ve been working with just moves off in another direction and off the screen. It was strange to feel a little sad about leaving this light behind the first time but there is a cute payoff for it by the end. For what little of a story arc it has, it worked perfectly within this minimalist design.

 

Linear Solutions

In the whole game of about 200+ puzzles, I found maybe three or four that stumped me and took some effort to figure out. When I really couldn’t advance, I’d walk away and solve it the next time I sat down to play. Linelight is not the most challenging game but I also don’t think it needs to be. It’s a very simple, elegant game that you can get lost in for a few hours. There are also some secret green shards that provide a tougher challenge than the yellow ones to help extend the legs of the game. I only pursued a few of the 60 secret shards and they were more involved than the main puzzles. There’s a world map that helps highlight where these secret locations are as well, so you can spend less time hunting the location and spend it on solving the puzzle.

Linelight_05

Final Thoughts

Overall, Linelight manages to be an engaging experience with it’s ambient music and pleasant visuals. The minimalism of the entire game is beautiful, and it continues to keep your mind focused on solving the puzzles. The fact that it evokes feeling though each of it’s parts to create an experience that elicits emotion is unexpected.

The value proposition for it is difficult, as it cost about $10 for a 3-4 hour gaming experience, but I certainly enjoyed the elegance of the game. It really doesn’t overstay its welcome and I know I’ll keep Linelight installed just in case they ever put out additional levels.

Review: Linelight
The Good
  • Relaxing ambient music
  • Clever puzzle solutions
  • Minimalist art style
The Bad
  • Short play time
  • Not too challenging
9Overall Score
Reader Rating: (0 Votes)
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About The Author

Andy L
Review/Editorial Writer

Ever since he received a Sega Genesis for Christmas at age 6, Andy has been hooked on video games. Pokemon and Metal Gear Solid are his all-time favorite games, but he's found an appreciation for quirky, unique indie titles as well. He's also into board games because one gaming hobby just wasn't enough.