|System: Wii (WiiWare)||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: WayForward Technologies||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: WayForward Technologies||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Feb. 9, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Nintendo systems seem to have no shortage of puzzle games, and in keeping with tradition, developers have already loaded the WiiWare platform with plenty of titles in the genre. WayForward Technologies (Contra 4, Shantae), however, brings to Wii owners a unique twist on some tried-and-true puzzle design. With its obscure tale of a high school overrun by evil and darkness - as well as its interesting use of lighting - Lit treads its own path and brings something refreshing to Wii.
The game begins with your character, Jake, entering a classroom with the number "101" (clever, no?) on the door. There's zero exposition, no tutorial or instructions, and the player is simply left to figure out for themselves why they're there, what they're meant to do, and how to do it. It's jarring to say to the least, but putting your best foot forward, it quickly becomes clear what the gameplay gist is all about: making it to the exit of each classroom.
You'll make your way through the whole of the school in hopes of finding your girlfriend, Rachael. Occasionally - upon entering a new room - you'll hear a phone ringing; if you can get to the phone in time, Rachael will feed you a little more of the game's story.
The entire thrust of Lit's gameplay is, as its namesake implies, about lighting Jake's way so as to allow him to make it to the exit of each room. It's an action puzzler, much in the vein of Exit (minus the platforming) or Pet Alien, and both the level design and use of the Wii Remote are clever and often quite satisfying. What's not so hot is that each puzzle pretty much has one set way to be completed, and the level of intricacy and challenge leads to lots and lots of trial and error. You'll often be forced to redo rooms upwards of 10 times before you see the clear path ahead, and that's only after moving slowly forward a little bit with each additional replay.
As mentioned, Lit is all about well, light, as moving into the darkness will leave you helpless against the wraith-like creatures who have taken over your school. Jake has a flashlight always on his person, though it can only be used to investigate a room (by moving the Wii Remote in real-time) - not for safety from the darkness. Any time the flashlight runs low on juice, you simply need to waggle the Wii Remote to get your charge back up to full. It's a neat mechanic that isn't overplayed and adds a subtle bit of enjoyment to the overall experience.
There are a few other such gameplay fixtures that work really well, and for the most part, Lit never misuses the unique functionality of the Wii. You'll find pellets that can be slung (using Jake's slingshot) at windows and such by holding the Z-trigger and aiming with the Wii Remote. Likewise, you can lob cherry bombs by locking onto an area of a room and using a forward-throwing gesture with the remote. They're very satisfying moves when executed, and again, they're not overused or abused. The area of effect for the cherry bombs, however, was pretty inconsistent, though we eventually learned to manipulate the item fairly well.
Each room is a unique puzzle, and you'll often have to break windows to allow light to stream in, which in turn will let you make your way to a lamp, computer monitor, or other helpful object that can illuminate a greater portion of the room. However, there's a light meter at the top of the screen, and if you turn on too many lights at once, you'll blow a fuse and have to restart the level. For the most part, there's a logical succession to how you make your way through each room, though the complexity of levels will inevitably cause most folks to do lots of tinkering, making small connections each step of the way.