As a retro gamer, I’m always fascinated by the advances made in the gaming industry. When I was a kid, for example, I remember holding my Game Boy up over my head in the back seat of the car so that the headlights from the car behind us could illuminate my grayscale screen. Come to think of it, that’s probably why I’m wearing glasses now and couldn’t shoot the broadside of a barn with them off…horray for technology. “Tetris” was one of those games (that apparently contributed to my bad eyesight) and to that end, I’m always on the lookout for that new variant. Before we take a look at “OverLight”, I’d like to thank Tomáš “Frooxius” Mariančík for sending me a free preview copy. It’s important to note that this game is currently in the early Alpha stages and like with all previews, the content that you see in this article may be subject to change.
“OverLight” not only has Tetris-like blocks, but lasers. Yeah, that’s what I said, lasers…awesome! These blocks are made of glass and break apart as the lasers get directed through them. Rather than try to form lines and figure out how to plug holes, you’ll be scrambling to figure out how to position your lasers to break blocks and possibly score combo points by chaining these explosions properly. Before starting up the game, you’ll be able to choose your screen resolution and toggle fullscreen, which I’m glad to see. There are a few other menu options, but they are limited to sound levels and graphics quality.
So, how does it all work? Two lasers, red and orange, are shooting horizontally from opposite sides of the screen. These lasers travel through the blocks, twisting and turning in the shape of the blocks they pass through. Should a laser hit a wall, it will split in either direction and continue on. Your cursor simply breaks the glass blocks that you click on, allowing both lasers to follow the new path you create for them. Your ultimate goal is to get both lasers to strike the same block, in which case it will heat up and explode. If you are able to do this multiple times in quick succession, you’ll be awarded with a chaining bonus. The catch is that every time you click on a block to shatter it, you lose points. The challenge is to break the least amount of blocks to get the lasers to intersect properly.
Arcade mode plays like your standard game of “Tetris” in that the levels get progressively harder as time goes on. In this particular mode, you play until you reach a high enough score to move on to the next stage. Time Attack mode puts a number on the clock and challenges you to get the best score possible and yes, you’ll be able to choose what level of difficulty you’d like to maintain during the ordeal. Clean Up mode is more puzzle oriented in that you’ll be trying to clear the stage in the fewest moves possible. Puzzle mode is similar, except that the difference is that the stages found here are prearranged.
At present (as of 12/12/12), there are ten levels available in the arcade mode while the rest of the modes are currently unavailable to play. From what I’ve played of these ten levels, I was impressed by the various obstacles I had to overcome with each new level. Level one, for example, was as simple as the game could get in that all you have to do is make the lasers intersect on the same blocks. Level two introduces blocks with stars on them that you can click on for points after the block they inhibit shatters. Level five, just to name another example, contains only corner blocks while level seven contains only pyramid blocks. You’ll also run into blocks that are “dark” in that you won’t be able to destroy them with a mouse click. Along those lines, there are explosive blocks that you definitely don’t want to click on as they explode, which destroys all blocks around them for negative points.
On top of having a free demo, you can buy your way in to the Alpha at the current sale price (as of 12/12/12) of $3.99, normally $7.99. The game is a lot of fun in its current state and I’m anxious to see what new features will be added to the game as time goes on. There is a bit of strategy involved since clicking blocks makes you lose points…this prevents the user from just going click happy until they get something to shatter. It was difficult to predict the flow of the lasers at times, especially when chaining occurred. I often just sat back and watched the fireworks, pretending like I had actually masterminded the entire ordeal. If I were to make one suggestion, it would be to reduce the text / font size a bit…the menu screens overwhelmed me a bit. I’d also make the orange laser blue or green, just so I could easily tell the difference between them…perhaps even giving the player the option to change their colors? Otherwise, the game is shaping up nicely! “Tetris” fans and those who enjoy puzzles will most likely enjoy playing this game…I did.
You can learn more about and purchase “OverLight” by visiting the following websites:
You can help bring the game to Steam by voting for it on its Greenlight page, here:
You can check out play session videos, here: