When I see the word ‘zen’ to describe any sort of minimalistic iOS puzzler, my cynicism as a mobile games critic immediately flares up. Normally such a descriptor suggests a lazy and derivative core, in an attempt to be profound for no real reason other than to appeal to those who think videogames have to achieve some sort of higher purpose. Thankfully, Linelight ($1.99) fully embraces its simplicity, and is literally nothing more than a game of moving your fluorescent bar of light through multiple puzzles and paths. With levels that are lit up like a Christmas tree, Linelight is the epitome of accessibility through its basic controls, but really smart level design throughout the 200 unique puzzles results in a deceptively deep experience that shouldn’t be missed, and is available to download now for $1.99 on the App Store.
Anyone who owns a PS4 or has an interest in videogames beyond the App Store will likely have heard of Linelight before, as the game made its debut on Sony’s console at the start of the year. However, it’s hard not to feel like the App Store was always the intended platform for the game, as stunning aesthetic design and soundtrack coupled with its incredibly basic controls make for a perfect smartphone game on the iPhone’s razor-sharp retina display. Linelight’s head-start on other consoles also means it has already been showered in critical acclaim from a number of outlets, and the title’s popularity amongst console gamers underlines its credentials now it has made its transition to mobile. Linelight is basic, and not a major cerebral challenge, but the way it embraces and makes the most of its simplicity justifies the aforementioned ‘zen’ label, and really makes the game stand out from the hundreds of similar titles that have tried and failed to execute such a concept in the past. Linelight is available on the App Store for $1.99 today, and feel free to slide to our forum thread and Discord Server for more discussion on this evocative iOS release.