God of Light Presents An Elegant Metaphor For Puzzle Games [Review]


God of Light

God of Light has a simple, fun concept. It has pretty graphics and some cool music by British electronica outfit Unkle. And it has realistic light physics. And all of these are great, but a lot of games look and sound good.

God of Light by Playmous
Category: iOS Games
Works With: iPhone, iPad
Price: $1.99

But God of Light is special because in addition to all of these good qualities, it also offers something else: a meditation on what puzzle games are, what they do, and how and why we play them.

And the best part is that the developer accomplishes this not by telling us, but by building all of these qualities into the gameplay and mechanics.

God of Light
You don’t use every mirror in the ultimate solution; some are just there to give you access to other parts of the screen.

So before I get all English-major again, here’s what God of Light is: It’s a physics-based puzzler about transporting a beam light from its source to an endpoint using mirrors and other environmental tools.

It’s a solid concept that we’ve seen before, and the game is very good about slowly introducing new concepts like mirrors you can rotate, ones you can move along predefined tracks, buttons that open gates, and so on. Later on, you can split the beam and play around with black holes, but don’t even worry about that right now; it’s pretty standard stuff, and it all works great.


What really impressed me about God of Light, however, is its presentation. Every level starts out dark; all you can see is your cute character, Shiny, who is the source of illumination. You tap him, and the beam emerges. Swiping around moves the light around, but you’re not sure where it needs to be until it hits something.

You hit a mirror or switch, and it lights up part of the level. As you continue exploring, you reveal more until you have enough information to start planning your solution. It’s about discovery and experimentation, and as you illuminate the level with light, you illuminate yourself with understanding.

And that is basically a visual representation of how every puzzle game works. God of Light has layers, is what I’m getting at.

God of LightGame Name: : God of Light
The Good: It looks, sounds, and plays wonderfully. And all that navel-gazing stuff, too.
The Bad: It’s sometimes a little picky about which item you have selected, which can undo some of your progress.
The Verdict: It’s a clever and engaging title that offers plenty to think about, even if you’re not writing a thesis about it.
Buy from: App Store – God of Light – Playmous