The Light Benders is a friendly-looking, deceptively challenging puzzle game for the iPhone and iPod touch that tests your spatial perception. It’s easy to learn and steadily increases in difficulty, but is still quick enough to play a few minutes at a time.
The game is played in levels, each of which takes place in a different single-screen room. Each room has a light source and a crystal, and the goal is to get the light to hit the crystal. You are given a set number of little green blobs to deploy, each with an adjustable light input and output. Once you’ve positioned your blobs and set their light-bending angles, you tap a button to watch the light bend from blob to blob. As you clear levels, you unlock additional types of light with different properties, which you will need to use for more complicated rooms. There’s no time limit, so there’s no added pressure.
If you lose, you can retry the same level right away, with the little green blobs exactly where you put them. I’m grateful for this feature, since I have a tendency to miss by only one tile. This also makes the game easy to pick up and put down.
Although The Light Benders is not multiplayer, the game’s simplicity makes it easy for two or more people to try and figure out the levels together, especially if you have an iPad.
It took me a couple of playthroughs to figure out how The Light Benders worked. The game opens with simple illustrated instructions which are easy enough to understand, but the rules of the game didn’t really click for me until I started playing. Fortunately, the app is forgiving enough for you to play around with a few test runs.
The overall feel of the app is quite pleasant. The music is calming, the graphics are simple and cute, and there are no distracting ads or suggestions to buy more games from the developer.
The Light Benders is great, quick brain exercise: it’s not frustratingly difficult, but it’s challenging enough that I get a little rush of accomplishment when I solve a level. It’s appropriate for all ages; although it’s not a kiddie game, I think it’d be a hit among school-age children looking for a good puzzle. It’s well worth the 99 cent price, and I highly recommend it.
Here is a video demo of the The Light Benders app on the iPhone
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