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Tiny Lights Review

By Andrew Nesvadba, on June 30, 2011


Tiny Lights
Download on the AppStore
Rating

PROS

  • Eerie designs and concepts add intrigue to the world.
  • Single-finger controls make it relatively easy to pick up and play.
  • Found elements attempt to flesh out the story.

CONS

  • Controls become unresponsive in the 'incorrect' orientation.
  • Basic gameplay fails to make serious use of the multiple characters.

VERDICT

As beautiful as the world of Tiny Lights is it fails to provide anything deeper than the occasional action sequence or minor puzzle.


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Being the nerd/geek or whatever you want to call it that I am, it should be no surprise that I read the occasional comic. As such, the idea of colors representing a sort of emotional rainbow is nothing new, but then again society has seemingly always paired feelings with different shades of the visible spectrum. Tiny Lights by Darling Dash and The You Company turns this idea in to a classic adventure game where you'll guide 'lights', each with unique powers that will help in restoring their tiny town.

However you'll have to find each light before you're able to make any headway. At first you'll only be able to control a red light; his confidence allows him to move speedily while also being able to see hidden objects. Soon you'll find a blue light; he's a social creature and you'll need him to talk to other lights. Green represents bravery and strength, giving him the ability to attack hostile creatures and push around heavy objects. Purple has mystic powers allowing him to access secret chambers and carry ancient scrolls. Lastly yellow likes to maintain portals, giving you the ability to quickly jump back and forth from the forest to the town.

The potential for depth and growth for each character is what makes Tiny Lights so interesting at first, however players are quickly let down when confronted with only basic problems that simply require swapping, spending a few seconds completing a Simon-says, or flicking the screen to kill enemies before moving on. While there are some problems with the controls correctly interpreting your actions (a single tap can signify either moving, activating a power or trying to attack something), there's not enough complexity to ever consider it problematic.

It's disappointing to have a game as beautiful, eerie and elegant as Tiny Lights taking the easy way out and what should be a mystifying world is quickly broken up in to systematically clearing out areas in the hope that there's something more. Unfortunately no matter how solid a concept is, without compelling gameplay or story elements it's hard to feel invested in a game.

Tiny Lights is intriguing and enchanting, but also a missed opportunity for something deeper. If you enjoy the idea of games like Gobliiins but wished it was less complex, you could do worse than to spend an hour or so with this title in your hands.

Screenshots

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