To gamers with good memories, the word LIT may provide a nostalgic feeling beyond its heavy use in modern culture. In 2009, WayForward Technologies released a game called LIT as a WiiWare title, with the game also receiving a heavily simplified port to iOS and Android devices. It’s the latter version of the title which has now been ported a second time, with WayForward and GAMEPUMP teaming up to release an HD verison of LIT on Steam. After spending some time searching for the light, however, it turns out that this title was better off being left in the dark.
For starters, the PC recreation of LIT doesn’t deliver almost anything in terms of plot: players will be greeted by an introductory screen that explains the protagonist must find a girl named Rachael, and that’s it. They are given no real context of what happened, why the setting takes place in a haunted high school, or any additional information about the plot’s two characters. In fact, the only reason the setting can be recognized as a school of any sort is because the developers included blackboards throughout each level. Otherwise, the levels are cluttered with light-generating devices that fit into the game’s theme of light versus dark, but do nothing to establish a logical setting.
The concept of LIT is simple: darkness is death, and light is life. Players must solve 16 levels of tile-based puzzle exploration where they must find a way to light the path to each level’s exit door. The game presents a few barriers along the way, ranging from unexplained monsters to simple logical puzzles like figuring out the right sequence of actions to get to the next step. LIT presents a golf-like par score to each player upon the completion of each room which shows players a how they’ve performed compared to expectations. Players should keep this score in mind, as hitting this par score is necessary to unlock the better of the game’s two endings.
Unfortunately, even the ending gives players no real satisfaction beyond the fact that they completed each of the game’s 16 levels. This process should take gamers about an hour to complete from start to finish, which is a small amount of playtime, even for a $6 game. Oddly, the mobile edition of the title is free and has the exact same puzzles, which makes it a better choice for curious puzzle enthusiasts.
While the PC edition of the game supports both keyboard and joypad controls, those who venture through the haunted high school will discover that the control scheme isn’t intuitive and will also cause a few level restarts. In particular, the decision to have the WSAD keys represent movement while the arrow keys use different items is a confusing one, and gamers may find themselves accidentally wasting an irreplaceable resource performing an incorrect action, which adds a little dose of unnecessary frustration to the title.
Players searching for challenging puzzle games are likely better off going with more abstract puzzle games like Technobabylon, which at least offers a gorgeous art style and an intricate plotline. For a few bucks, LIT delivers gamers from being absolutely bored for about an hour, though the experience won’t be memorable the slightest. While the WiiWare edition of LIT evidently had some worthwhile merit to it, everything positive about this version was lost in translation the moment WayForward opted to port the mobile edition of LIT over to PC instead.
Unfortunately for WayForward, there’s no rescuing this PC remake of LIT from becoming another faceless title in an ever-growing pile of cheap Steam games, and no reason for gamers not to simply download the free mobile version of the game instead of this seemingly pointless PC port.
LIT is available now on PC. Game Rant was provided with a Steam key for this review.