In just a few short months we will be approaching the one-year anniversary of the WiiWare service on Nintendo’s current home console, the Wii. This online marketplace has a variety of brand new games and nifty ideas for you to play at a low price, but until now, there was nothing like developer Wayforward’s horror puzzler, LIT.
LIT takes place in a high school, where the lights have gone out and the rooms are now shrouded in dark. Mysterious creatures make their home in the dark, avoiding what little light remains, and if anyone were to step out of the light and into the dark they would be pulled under into the world below. This is the situation we find the teenage hero Jake in when the game opens; he runs across a room and into the dim light near a chalkboard, which serves as the game’s main menu.
Feb. 9, 2009
Jake is a quiet, somewhat emo teenager, and he is thrown into the middle of this mess. Almost no story is unveiled at the beginning-Jake doesn’t know what’s going on, just that he needs to stay in the light-but more details about what’s going on are unveiled through phone calls with Jake’s girlfriend, Rachael. You take these calls through the speaker of the Wii Remote, a nifty touch that adds to the immersion of the title.
This is a bit more story than you are used to seeing in a puzzle game, but it’s welcome as it adds to the setting of the levels, which are far more puzzling than horror-based on their own. The concept is simple enough at first: stay in the light, avoid the dark, make your way to the exit door on the other side of the classroom.
Things become more difficult as new items are introduced and new possibilities for implementing those items come up; should you use a cherry bomb to open that window from across the room, or should you just shoot at it with your slingshot pellets? Should you break open that window before or after you use this flare to create a small, temporary light source? You also need to be sure that you don’t overdo it by turning on every light; there’s a bar up top that tracks how close you are to blowing a fuse in each room, and there will be times later in the game where you need to go back and shut off lights in order to proceed, or else you will fail.
These are the questions that will greet you in each level, but luckily, you are also armed with a trusty flashlight that can be used to study each level you are in. This means that if you take a moment to sit back and try to take in your surroundings, you will oftentimes find a solution staring at you, or at least the first few steps you need for your destination. If you run out of batteries in your flashlight, all you need to do is shake the Wii Remote, just like you would shake a faltering flashlight in reality.
As for the rest of the controls and controller implementation, Wayforward did a good job putting together a simple and intuitive system. Movement is controlled with the analog stick on the Nunchuk, and your view is from above the 3D designed level. You also have the option to switch to a third-person, over the shoulder viewpoint in order to aim your slingshot and cherry bombs or just to get a different perspective while using your flashlight.