Whether you love them or hate them, the mobile game is here to stay and just occasionally that means we’ll see the very best of them also arriving on console. With God of Light having racked up some major play time from over 15 million people on mobile, it seems like a bit of a no-brainer to see the game now released on Xbox One. But can the Remastered, most definitive edition of the light physics based puzzler shine on Xbox One, or is the switch from touchscreen to control pad going to see it fade into the dark night sky?
Well, it ain’t bad at all you know. But whether you should get involved or not all depends on whether you have played God of Light previously. Because if you have, then you’re just going to be left with the same old thing once more.
Playmous have delivered God of Light Remastered on Xbox One, but don’t let that ‘remaster’ tag kid you into believing there is more content on offer. In fact, it’s the exact same game as you can already pick up on mobile, just now it comes with brand new HD visuals, a soundtrack from UNKLE and the promise of tailored controls that will work beautifully on console.
Gameplay wise, and like I say, things are pretty much the same. You get to wake the game’s mascot, Shiny, from his slumber, before helping him ping his beam of light around multiple stages, lighting up the end of stage Source of Light which is found in each one, and collecting stars and crystals as you do so. But the problem is Shiny very rarely moves, instead being limited to spinning round on his axis and projecting his light out to all manner of mirrors, prisms, splitters, filters, black holes, lenses and more. Each of those in turn will offer a unique ability, with them twisting and turning, running up and down on rails or teleporting to new spots in the level in order to help Shiny out. On the face of it, it’s all fairly simple stuff, and the new game mechanics including multiple colours of light are dropped into proceedings in a well timed manner, never leaving you to worry about how to get working with each element.
But with cleverly designed levels that get progressively harder, it won’t take long before you find yourself needing to delve into the darkest depths of your grey matter in order to work out the solution to each one. Manage to light up that Source of Light – either by hook or by crook – and your job is a good ‘un and you’ll quickly be whisked away to the next stage.
150 levels are place, and these are split across different ‘trees’ with the end level in each seeing that tree eventually sparkle into life once more. Whilst the first 25 stages are doable, everything else is locked down and will require the collection of stars as you go about lighting up each source. With three hidden away on each stage, it’ll be up to you to ensure that your beam passes through each one before hitting that end of level completion. There are however plenty of obstacles that you’ll need to force your beam of light through, and whether it be solid rock that needs to be burnt through by using an extra powerful lens fuelled beam, gates that can be opened by hitting a switch, or anything else that the developers at Playmous have come up with, you’ll need to work out the best solution for each. You see, without hitting these stars, much of your time with God of Light Remastered will be confined to the very earliest of stages.
Thankfully, to help you out, and to allow for a bit of an easier time in the progression stakes, Fireflies have been introduced to light up the way and show you the optimum pattern for success. These are severely limited, both in time and number, and you’ll need to hunt each one down from each level in order to utilise them. The ‘hunting’ consists of simply shining your light upon them, which in turn banks them for those times of need. They are a clever and much needed way of allowing those who are struggling with a stage, the opportunity to gather up all stars and make their way through each section. But you’ll need to use them wisely as once you’ve called upon their glow, and been shown their prime level completion way, they will be gone forever. And sods law states that once you’ve utilised their goodies, will be crying out for them again in no time.
So God of Light is a fairly simple idea that has been executed well. The visuals are, as you would expect, hugely colourful, well defined affairs, and throughout your time with God of Light will see your screen glowing bright. However, with the many mobile games that make an appearance on console, there is the same old worry about whether the control scheme can keep up with the idea. And it is within this which sees God of Light slightly struggle.
You see, running your control between each of the adjustable puzzle pieces that you can mess around with is sometimes frustrating, with a push on the thumbstick more often than not seeing the wrong piece selected. This is fine in the early stages as you are free to take your time and plan your routes with little in the way of worry, but later levels call upon precise swift movement, occasionally as a timed gate is left open and you rush to get your beam of light shining through it. Unfortunately, the control issues don’t really allow for smooth progression. It is puzzles like this which excel when they let the player take their time with every last adjustment, and so even though the introduction of these fast paced movement opportunities may well work fine with a touch screen, when you’re frantically trying to move a cursor from one piece to the next as fast as possible, frustration occurs.
There is also a bit of a wait before the rotation of any piece seems to kick in, and at times of need, that delay is unwelcome. Additionally, and even though you can use your triggers to fine tune any movement, the entire control scheme is just a bit ‘off’, either moving too quickly, or too slowly for my personal liking. It’s never enough to really kill the game, but you will be left cursing as you attempt to fix the same puzzle pieces in place time and time again, especially whilst those damn timed gates slam shut in your face or the introduction of black holes see your beams twisted and contorted with every slight move.
Furthermore, and whilst I both like and understand the idea of collecting stars to open up further levels, many will find this a chore, and going back through each stage to gather up the leftovers isn’t something that is particularly appealing. But in order to open up each segment of God of Light Remastered, going back through them is a must as the star collection requirements are a little on the high side, especially should you wish to make it through to the very latter stages. Hey, I guess that is what YouTube walkthroughs are for though?
Should you be able to keep yourself away from the video cheating, then God of Light Remastered is however a delightful little puzzler that will keep those who enjoy a bit of a brain taxing time busy for a good while. Don’t expect to find yourself breezing through each level, and you’ll most definitely need to go back over previously completed ones in order to hunt down all the stars or Fireflies, but that in turn ensures that God of Light delivers plenty of replayability.
At the end of the day, God of Light isn’t a bad little addition to the console scene, but it is a game you can play for free on your mobile, so the £8 odd asking price seems a bit high. You’re going to have to already be wrapped up in the puzzle genre in order to enjoy it fully, and I can see many turning away from it just because of the tough ask in opening up all the different trees and sources of light, but if that is something you enjoy, then there is plenty of opportunity for going back over things with the star and fireflies collectibles.
Mobile games on console ain’t all bad you know, and if you want a puzzler, God of Light Remastered will suffice.