Day 513: LightFish

Posted: 2012/04/06 in Indie Games

Qix was an awesome game, but it’s final level wasn’t a whole lot different than its first (at least any version of the game I’ve played). “LightFish” corrects that oversight by upgrading Qix with a host of enemies that are strikingly varied.

Like with Qix, the primary goal is to corral all the enemies into one place; once you have cordoned off 75% of the playfield, you move on to the next level. It’s the enemies that keep being introduced throughout that keeps the game fresh. When the game introduces a new enemy it gives you a blurb about it. I recommend paying attention, as it provides useful information about enemy behaviour. In addition to their unique behaviour, all enemies seem to speed up as the remaining area for them to roam around in gets smaller. Any contact with an enemy means death. To avoid enemies you must travel along the existing lines, or brave a new trail into the enemy-controlled unknown (and try to conquer more territory while you’re at it).

Another way the game mixes things up is with environmental barriers that must be navigated around, forcing you to attempt lines that may not be your preferred choice otherwise. These add to the game’s variety, and also provide a nice way of breaking up otherwise me-too looking levels.

I like that the enemy behaviour, rather than being purely random, has predictable elements that add timing and strategy to the game. For me it improved the game to remove that particular bit of entropy. With great (if Geometry Wars-ish) presentation, this is a great 80 Microsoft Point buy for someone looking for an improved version of Qix (or Gal’s Panic, or any of Qix’s many successors.

Here’s what the developer (“Eclipse Games”) has to say about the game:

“LightFish is a highly addictive arcade game, where the user controls a small fish who lives in the abyssal deeps of the ocean… surrounded by deadly creatures. His objective is to destroy all the monsters who inhabit those dangerous zones by drawing lines onto unexplored territory. However, any enemy who manages to touch the Lightfish will kill him instantly!”

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