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Light and Shadow

Published by Lemonade Productions
Price $19.95
Primary Genre Secondary Genre

The title "Light and Shadow", when I first heard it, put me in mind of art classes, or maybe a branch of photography. Instead I found a tile flipping game with passing nods to the likes of Reversi and those sliding picture puzzles where you have to put the blocks in order. Throw in a little Connect 4 and you're almost there.

Welcome to Light and Shadow. Flip the tiles over - light to dark, and dark to light.

Your role in Light and Shadow is to generate energy by creating lines of four or more Light tiles. Generate enough energy and you'll go on to the next puzzle. BUT, if you line up four or more Dark tiles, you'll lose energy! Lose too much and the game is over. When tiles line up, every other tile flips over, sometimes causing chain reactions. As you advance, new tiles with greater energy or special properties are introduced.

Light and Shadow is a highly playable game. Just click on a tile with the mouse and it will flip into the empty space. If you get totally stuck, there's a Hint button with limited uses. Don't panic if the results it gives you are long-winded or (as happened to me once!) it replies "no solutions", as the hint option will only find alignments of Light tiles that don't set off chain reactions. Sometimes you have to risk aligning the dark ones to get ahead. You can play just the puzzles, or try the time trials - and there are three levels of difficulty too.

Line up the light tiles to generate energy - don't line up the dark tiles!

It wasn't until I finished my first game that I realised the sneaky addictiveness of Light and Shadow. Somehow an hour had passed without me noticing! The game is very simple to operate and the basic concepts are very straightforward - a highly successful combination. The special blocks add to the strategy, which helps to stave off boredom.

The graphics are cheerful and clear. The tiles are well sized and animate nicely when flipping or lining up. Everything is well laid out and there are even helpful arrows to suggest the available moves! The different tile strengths are clearly marked, although I can never remember which is which myself.

Audially the game is also good - clear, distinctive sounds indicate light or dark tiles aligning, as well as the basic flipping noises and the round of applause when you complete the puzzle! Everything is accompanied by a subtle background track which defies my ability to describe it, but which I rather like.

Overall, this is a neat game which will keep you happy for some time. Deceptively simple, rather addictive and highly professional. Well done, Lemonade Productions!

Graphics 85%
Sound 75%
Playability 90%
Longevity 70%
Overall Score 84%
Silver Star

Published on 20 Feb 2004
Reviewed by Andrew Williams

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