VG ReviewsVideo Games

Lightmatter

Welcome to Lightmatter Technologies, the energy source of the future. This is a first person puzzle game where you must manipulate light and stay out of the shadows, because somehow, the shadows have turned into matter eating sludge. You are trapped in the facility when something goes wrong and you must get out by going through dangerous areas.

Use your wits and spacial reasoning to solve environmental puzzles. Oh, there are also some platforming going on, too, so you need some coordination as well.

Special thanks to swaswj for making this review possible. Find the game on Steam.

Welcome to the future

Lightmatter is a first person puzzle game that evokes the same style and feelings as Portal. It’s about you, some random person, trapped in a facility and you must get out by solving puzzles. Along the way, there is a person talking to you, getting to know you and telling you the story of the game.

It does differ in that the tone of Lightmatter is less tongue-in-cheek, and the voice talking to you is a real person that does want to help you. It’s just that the facility got really badly damaged, so any direct way you have out is not available, forcing you to go the long way.

Oh, then there’s the shadows.

Your friendly guide

The main mechanic of the game is that shadows have become matter-devouring entities, so you can’t touch them, not even for a moment. It is a really solid mechanic that the game uses to great effect.

The puzzles are great and slowly build up in difficulty. You start out just avoiding shadows. Then you get the ability to move around lamps to create paths of light. Then more stuff gets piled on.

What powers it all

The level design of the game is pretty great. The visuals of the game are mostly muted, so part with colors stand out, allowing you to know what’s important. Your goal is always a green exit sign, and it’s easy to spot, so you know which direction to head towards.

Your actions are also limited, so the options in the stage never gets too large, even as the stages get bigger. For instance, you can’t jump and carry a lamp, so you know any gaps means the lamps have to stay put. Visual cues are mostly consistent, so you can know what to expect, even as things get more complicated.

Beware of the shadows!

Your companion through the entire adventure is Virgil, the CEO of the company. You get to slowly know him throughout the game, what the facility is, the stuff that’s been going on. Virgil has great voice acting. He’s smug and thinks you’re insignificant, but he does want to help you out of his facility. The longer you take, the more snarky comments you get to hear. As pretty much the only character you interact with, Virgil is solid and entertaining all the way through.

The light lights the way

Lightmatter is a good puzzle game that has some great puzzles using the environment. It’s not that long, but it is a good length to explore all the different ways the light mechanic can be used. It has a good interaction with Virgil. The environment can get repetitive, but there are a few sections of the facility, each with its own theme.

I don’t think there are any secrets to find, or at least I haven’t found any. So what you see is what you get.

Ever onward and deeper

Find Lightmatter on Steam if you want a fun first-person puzzle adventure in the style of Portal. The shadow mechanic makes for some great puzzles.

Watch that step