AirToob Lightning

Tags  →  puzzles

If Michelangelo had created a hand-drawn computer art puzzle game...

Explanation further down... or click either of these screenshots

I don't need to add anything, except to say that this excellent video will help you get started and rescue you from places where your brain simply gives up!

This unique, multi-award-winning game is a real treat.

The Gardens Between: a unique puzzle game of childhood memories and friendship

This Australian production is a chill-out gem, almost worth having for its relaxing, meditative soundtrack alone.

A superior review to this one will be found here, or click any image for many links about the game.

Two best friends llive next door to each other. Sadly, they will be parted tomorrow, when one of them has to move away. They spend their last night together, wishing that they could somehow turn back time...

...and they discover that they can, at least in their imaginations. And that's what the game is about: controlling time.

The friends embark on a magical journey, visiting clusters of (usually three) islands, each island representing a level of the cluster's puzzle.

You can help them, but only by using three buttons: one advances time, one rewinds time, and the third causes something to happen. What you CAN'T do directly is control where the friends walk, which takes some getting used to!

The aim of each puzzle is simple: to reach the top of the island with a lit lantern. The lantern is lit by passing near a flower with a glowing white ball, and is extinguished by passing near a flower with a glowing black ball.

(Later in the game, you will encounter slabs of apparently solid mist. A lit lantern will dispel the mist, which is good if the mist is a barrier, but is bad if the mist forms a bridge that must be walked over!)

As time moves forwards or backwards, some other objects in the game move also, independently of the children. Flowers can open and close and the colour of their glowing ball can change.

Some of these objects are purple “buddy-boxes” in which a lantern can be placed or retrieved (lit or unlit) which follow their own trajectories around the island. If the trajectory of a buddy-box carrying a lantern passes near one of those glowing balls, then the lantern will be lit or extinguished accordingly.

What makes the game interesting is that the boy has special opportunities to stop time for the two friends, but allow time to go forwards or backwards for the other moving objects. Later in the game, when the islands and puzzles become more complicated, this can require some serious lateral thinking in order to make progress.

The path up the hill is inaccessible here - an example of where lateral thinking will be required!

As the game progresses, the islands become larger and more complicated. Some of the puzzles are very tricky indeed, especially when advancing or rewinding time very slowly at critical points allows things to happen that otherwise wouldn't.

My only disappointment with this wonderful little game is that it takes only a few hours to play, which makes it a somewhat expensive for what it is. But any bright children you know will have great fun playing it, too (not to mention other adults).

If you like this...

[FAR Lone Sails - an atmospheric vehicle adventure game]
[Dear Esther - a unique exploration of a Hebridean island]
[Other Places - videos by Andy Kelly exploring the tranquil beauty of game landscapes without violence or stress]
[Non-violent problem-solving adventure games (from my web site)]