LIT is an excellent pure puzzle solving game from Indie developer, WayForward. It is a re-imagining of a 3D horror action puzzle game of the same name that was originally released in 2009. You guide Jake, who is a sullen, brooding teenager, through the rooms of a dark, haunted school in search of his girlfriend Rachael. In each room you face a puzzle that involves creating light to travel through the dark, using various gameplay mechanics to create paths and avoid monsters. After each room you are provided with the time and number of steps it took you to complete the room and a complete time at the end. The puzzles seem simple enough but become increasingly more challenging as you progress through the rooms. Coupled with the tense atmosphere, LIT provides an engaging experience for the player and is a genuinely impressive creation considering the simplicity of it’s execution.
As you enter each room in LIT you must utilise objects to form paths of light through the room. If Jake steps into the shadows, he dies. Throughout each room you will find lamps, slingshots, matches and TV remotes. The lamps create a circle of light around them and are used by placing lightbulbs in them, but there are usually more lamps in each room then there are lightbulbs so you need to move the lightbulbs between lamps in order to get to the room exit. Usually you can create long paths of light across the room by throwing slingshots at the windows, which often allows you to create paths between lamps and TVs, which also creates a pool of light around them. In some rooms you will encounter monsters, which is where the matches come in. The monsters can only move towards you if they are on lit up squares and by using the matches to light the floor between you and the monster on fire you can catch the monsters in the flames and destroy them, leaving you to continue navigating the room with one less threat.
These simple game mechanics are very basic by themselves but together they make for some extremely interesting puzzle solutions. Each room essentially has one method by which it can be solved but as the rooms become more complex sometimes finding the solution can lead you to try out many combinations with some seeming like they will lead you to the answer until the last second. Despite timing your attempts, LIT still manages to feel fairly laid back, with no real sense of stress or pressure on the player.
LIT features a lovely, well drawn cartoon art style that gives the game a more relaxed feel to it, with it’s semi top down appearance allowing you to navigate the rooms more easily but still maintaining the side on 2D view of items and characters. LIT is not a particularly colourful game but it seems to achieve a good balance of slightly muted colours and slightly brighter elements that effectively compliments the gameplay and atmosphere.
As you traverse the rooms of the haunted school you are accompanied by a fantastic soundtrack that truly enhances your experience and certainly adds to the ambient spooky feeling that oozes from this little gem of a game. The UI sounds and environmental noises within the game also work well with the overall feel and fit well with the soundtrack. Every element of the game fits together wonderfully leaving nothing feeling out of place.
WayForward have done an excellent job with LIT. In essence it is a very simple concept, but each aspect of the game has been so well crafted that the end result just feels sublime to play. With the high user reviews attached to all of their previous titles it’s hardly unexpected that this game is also such a lovely thing to play and it’s encouraging to see a small developer continue to put out consistently excellent content.