Simplicity can be a be a beautiful thing. In the new puzzler Linelight from creator Brett Taylor, simplicity is absolutely the attraction.
In Linelight, which just released on PS4 this month and is also available on Steam, players control a short white dash that travels along a line collecting yellow stars. Along the way, you need to go through colored gates, collect keys and avoid the yellow and red dashes that can end your turn.
When you do get caught or stuck, a simple button press lets you start from where you left off with little time missed. The music is gorgeous and peaceful, while the screen contains only the puzzles — there is no user interface clogging the screen that distracts you from the experience. In some ways, the game’s aesthetic reminds me of Thomas Was Alone, except minus humorous narration of that indie darling.
I’m going to make a confession: I am typically poor at puzzle games, and even some puzzles within action games like Uncharted and Tomb Raider. Linelight, however, does a superb job in teaching you the mechanics of the game. Each of the six chapters opens up with easy intro puzzles that teach players that chapter’s mechanic.
The puzzles build in complexity throughout the game, but the solution for each puzzle is always directly in front of you. Many times when I had difficulty during the game, all I needed to do was take a break. The solution usually presented itself by the time I restarted, and always gave me a sense of accomplishment.
As I write this review, I am currently stuck at a spot in the sixth and final world, but I am confident that I will get through it. Thus far, I have collected every star in each world. Many of the stars are necessary in order to progress, though not every star is. Additionally, there are many bonus stars to find, which has the potential to add to the longevity of the game.
If there is one potential fault to Linelight, it would be the game’s longevity and replayability. The game is plenty long, taking anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes per world. Add in the bonus stars, and I could see Linelight providing five or more hours of rewarding gameplay. But once you complete the game — which does include a Platinum trophy — there will be little incentive to revisit.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with Linelight and think it is a must-play for puzzle game fans. It is relaxing, rewarding and well worth your time.
Linelight was reviewed using a PSN code provided by the developer. You can read additional information about PSVG’s review policy, as well as an explanation on our rating scale, on our disclaimer page here.