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App Army Assemble: Lyxo – Is this light-based puzzler an illuminating experience?

Lyxo is a puzzle game from indie developer Tobias Sturn. It’s all about reflecting and refracting beams of light to illuminate a series of darkened rooms. It’s intended to be a relaxing experience so we decided to hand it over to our App Army to see if it made them feel appropriately chilled.

Here’s what they said:

Oksana Ryan

This was a great game for just picking up, playing for ten minutes or so and then leaving – it didn’t demand a great commitment of time in order to enjoy it. The idea is to bounce a white light coming from one source onto angled points until it reaches a light at another section of the screen. Simple? For the most part – yes. However, there were times when I found myself putting it down in frustration. All good fun though. As the game progresses the addition of colour which makes it more challenging and that’s when the game gets really interesting. If you want a straight forward puzzle game to play in short bursts, then this is definitely a winner.

Robert Maines

Lyxo is a visually simple puzzler that in some ways reminds me of Helsing’s Fire as you need to use mirrors to guide a light source. Although you are not destroying monsters in Lyxo, drawing lines on the screen that act as mirrors to guide a beam of light to light up a ball. Things start off simple at first but the difficulty is ramped up as obstacles are introduced that are invisible till your light beam hits them. The screen can get messy as you can’t remove lines but this is a minor annoyance. Lyxo is a fun puzzler, definitely a keeper this one.

Michael Purdy

This puzzler is definitely something different. Remember those puzzles from Zelda ocarina of time where you need to reflect light off mirrors. That’s basically the concept of the game. You need to guide light to illuminate a crystal by drawing mirrors. As you guide the light, you can see more of the puzzle. I did find it annoying that I couldn’t undo a line I drew, at least not one that I could find. Otherwise, it’s a very enjoyable puzzle game

Mike Lisagor

Looks can be deceiving. At first, I thought this was just another “been there, done that” light reflection game. The presentation is minimal, with minimal guidance, and minimal feedback. What I like is that one mistake doesn’t mean you are done. After you draw a line to reflect the light, you can manipulate it to help solve the puzzle. The more I played, the more I wanted to try one more level. After you solve the puzzle, you get to see the hidden objects which I found to be very satisfying. This is a very relaxing puzzler that will stay on my iPad for a while. A solid game.

Bruno Ramalho

What we have here is a very relaxing game. A zen experience, with some puzzling involved, but not timers or objectives that will punish you in any way. Lasers and mirrors games are nothing new, but the way Lyxo works is completely new. You draw your own mirrors with your finger, and they could be simple flat mirrors or very long round mirrors that could reflect light in a lot of different ways. We start with a dark screen, a source of light, and an orb waiting for the light to reach it. At first, it’s very simple, you just draw a line in front of the light, which transforms itself into a mirror that reflects this light. You can then move this mirror dragging with your finger, or rotate it with two fingers, and make the light reach the orb until it is full of light.

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From there we will start using more mirrors as the scenery becomes more complex with obstacles, moving obstacles, objects that cannot be illuminated with light, orbs that need to be illuminated with different colours of light, and particles of light that you need to transport to the orb, etc.  There are almost no complex puzzles to solve, it’s just a very relaxing experience where you try drawing different mirrors while the light plays some piano notes. A minimalist game that is visually beautiful to watch and that will keep you coming back to find out the layout of the next level to solve.

Torbjörn Kämblad

In the early days of iOS gaming, the idea to slice with your finger on the screen made quite a big splash. Fruit Ninja perfected the idea with its hectic fruit-slicing shenanigans. Lyxo takes the basic idea of slicing, and dials down the tempo to a notch above zero. Instead of fruit, you slice a beam of light trying to guide it to illuminate an orb. Sounds easy enough, but there are obstacles in the way that you only “see” by how they stop the light.

You can make multiple slices that show up as movable, and deletable lines. Once you manage to illuminate the orb you move on to the next level. There are no three stars to be achieved or end of level points, instead, you progress seamlessly to the next level. The presentation is truly minimal with only the light, orb and blackness waiting for illumination. This game is not for me, it is too slow and I need more feedback to get my synapses firing. For those looking for a mellow game to spend a few minutes with during break-times, it might be a good choice.

Jim Linford

Well, from what I’ve played so far the game is a light reflection puzzle game with a really chill atmosphere. You have a light source and an orb. Draw lines to link up to the orb. Sounds simple. It kind of is but it’s also really well programmed. You can draw any shape you like to defect the light and using two fingers can rotate it to light up the beam. Each light beam has a nice piano twinkle sound.

The puzzle element comes when you may have an object in your way. So have to rotate your defector and link the light beam up. Once you complete the chain your orb fills up with light and you get an illuminated look at the room. I would say the game is enjoyable and relaxing. It doesn’t punish you. I am. It sure of the replay value but for the time I’m playing it. I really like it. Feeling relaxed already. Would recommend it if you want a nice calming game.

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