An interesting puzzle game which is ruined by its repetitive repositioning.
Release date: 3 Dec, 2015
Lowglow is a puzzle game where you have to direct light to the goal with the aid of lines that you can draw everywhere. While it looks nice at first, the gameplay doesn’t sit right with me as I played the game. More on the review.
Despite it not having much to show, the game gives a unique presentation with its glowing, neon-like color for the blocks. Blocks are differentiated based on color, surrounded by a dark background. It gives a strong emphasis on both the game’s title and story about light and darkness.
Although the story is not the main focus of this game, the writing is decent. The background story is well thought and all NPCs use the word choice that fits their character. Some people might have difficulty understanding the dialogues, but it won’t be a problem because the game still can be fully enjoyed without the story.
A light will come from a certain spot, bouncing on everything in its path. Your task is to direct it to the goal by drawing a line, which has limited uses depends on the level. You can draw the line everywhere except on the edge of the screen as long as it has a certain length.
Colored blocks are also placed in each level as a medium for your light to bounce by default. Different blocks will have different effects on the light’s behavior, which can either help you clearing the level or making your light go astray. Strangely, although the game provides a tutorial for the basic mechanics, the block’s unique characteristics are never explained.
There are 79 main levels with 39 bonus levels that will be unlocked after you reach a certain point in the game. Each set of levels are tied to an area that will trigger a cutscene once it’s cleared. It’s nice to see how the world map reflects the cutscenes; some areas will be brighter or darker, giving new scenery on the map.
Length and Difficulty
I finished the main levels at 4.5h and the bonus levels at 3.7h, totaling 8.2h playtime for both. Those who seek some challenge can also try to solve the levels with fewer lines given, which is also a requirement for some achievements.
The game has easy levels in the beginning, which will increase in difficulty as you clear more levels. It will soon rely on trial and error as you try to move each line little by little, either by changing its position or angle, to find the right position that you want. It is also making it worse by introducing a short delay for the light to spawn, wasting more of your time and sanity in the process.
There isn’t a major bug except for the fact that you can’t mark 3 sets of the bonus levels as completed. This bug has been acknowledged by the dev and has not been fixed after ~3 years.
Intel Core i5-9300H 2.40GHz, 8GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650
Although it looks interesting at first, some levels are just too mind-numbing and time-consuming to finish. They might require you to use your wits to solve, but you’ll end up spending most of your time readjusting the lines just to get the right position and/or angle that you want. Given that most puzzle games don’t require you to do this, I’d rather not recommend this game. If you want to play a puzzle game where you can draw a line to solve the levels, you can check out Lovers ‘ Smiles instead (our review).