Lyst Review

By , on January 4, 2011

Download on the AppStore
3 out of 5


  • Unique spin on the three-match concept and gameplay.
  • Lots of combination variations to explore.
  • Multiple gameplay modes; players set their own difficulty level.


  • Abstract designs make it hard to recall combinations quickly.


Lyst is a solid new arcade puzzler concept that warrants attention even if some of the features take a while to understand completely.

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While the sheer number of Apps released each day can result in a lot of chaff that only serves to clog up your iDevice, it also presents a unique chance to sift through and find those rare tasty grains that you never expected. Lyst by Steel Games is an arcade puzzler with a unique chemical-based twist that will challenge your dexterity and your ability exploit combination opportunities.

There are four basic elements that can be combined, resulting in various effects based on the items selected. Blue and Orange elements can be paired or mixed together along with a third 'basic' (or gray) element, resulting in the two basic reaction results of an explosion (mixed) or vacuum (paired). Adding in a fourth 'catalyst' element will modify how the explosion or vacuum affects the elements around it, resulting in anything from simply larger and more powerful versions to unique twists like chain reaction explosions or elements being placed out of phase so they can be 'stacked' for bigger bonuses.

The biggest weakness of Lyst is in getting across all of this information in the help menus and while playing. With so many reactions to learn and combinations that work well together (e.g., super-vacuum followed by chain explosion) it's hard to remember what catalyst does what as their icons are abstract and need to be remembered independently - certainly something that's not terribly easy when facing a rising pile of ash that can end your game.

Additional power-ups also add further depth and complexity to the game, but ultimately Lyst is a rare-gem that hasn't yet been polished - a diamond in the rough as it were. Videos made by the developer help immensely in teaching how the game works, but without this aid you'll need to spend some practice time (handily available in the game) to come to grips with this unique beast. A great puzzler for those who don't mind a bit of a learning curve that results in an addictive experience. 


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