Lit Review
Lit box art
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

One tremendously nagging issue with Lit, however, is its boss battles. They're challenging and interesting, but only partially satisfying upon completion. It's never clear what's expected of you (except during the game's final boss), and each boss encounter leads to a long series of repeats, as you slowly work your way toward the solution.

Lit screenshot

It's usually a good feeling once you've run through all the paces and finally see the boss fall to their demise, but it can be a painful process all the same. You never get that good feeling of when everything just clicks. It's more a matter of trying different things until something finally works, then stringing those things together (after endless tries) to complete the encounter. The final boss, however, simply rages on, and the controls for using cherry bombs become a serious frustration. Without giving away too much, let's just say that terms such as "obtuse" and "asinine" come immediately to mind. Considering the nature of the classroom levels, the bosses will likely make little sense and prove to be a sore spot for folks who've come for the puzzles.

As was the case with Zack & Wiki - ultimately, Lit's finer qualities outweigh its frustrations. It's all about trial, error, and tons of repetition, but there's still a lot of fun and satisfaction packed into the experience. The levels, surprisingly, lend themselves to repeat playthroughs, as the diversity and complexity is such that you'll quickly forget just what was required to get through a given classroom. It's also quite satisfying to string all the many elements together and simply run through a room, even if you already know exactly how it's done. Additionally, there are various unlockables and extras that promise to extend the life of the game.

On the production front, Lit looks like an early PS2 game, and considering the amount of memory it will take up on your system, as well as the gameplay and price, it's a fine presentation that gets the job done. You only see the characters up close on rare occasions, but the models look good and exhibit a decent level of detail for a WiiWare title. The entire school is dark, and the elements within each room mostly serve as obstacles for you to navigate, offering little in the way of visual panache.

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There were occasional bouts of slowdown, and Jake's animation is a bit jerky and unnatural - the latter causing the controls to feel somewhat unwieldy at times. The lighting is, of course, used to good effect, but the whole game has a sort of cartoon skin over it. There are no real fear elements, and though the lighting effects work fine as a gameplay mechanic, they do little to enhance the mood. Lit definitely has an interesting premise, but it's just not scary. That's kind of disappointing, since the game otherwise boils down to simply working out puzzles with little reason to stop and enjoy the view. A bit more emphasis on story, along with some well-placed, jump-out-at-you moments would have really helped to round out the experience.

The aural elements aren't too memorable either, though there are some clever uses of sound via the Wii Remote. Whenever you answer a ringing phone, you'll be prompted to hold the remote to your ear, and Rachael will then talk to you through the speaker on the remote. It's another neat, little touch that adds personality to the game. The sound effects do an okay job of cuing you when engaging an object or picking up an item, but monster sounds aren't very impressive. The music, too, is kind of disappointing, with generic themes that loop over and over. That said, neither the sound nor music get in the way of playing through levels.

On the whole, Lit is a great first effort on WiiWare by WayForward. The problems the game exhibits could likely only be remedied by starting anew, and hopefully the developer will see fit to follow up with a sequel. Lit has a good foundation, it's fun and satisfying to play, and ultimately worth the 800 Wii Points. The presentation has some clever and fun touches, and frustration and blemishes not withstanding, fans of both puzzles and the macabre should definitely give the game a look.

By Tony Capri
CCC Freelance Writer

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
3.8
Graphics
The lighting is used in refreshing ways that truly make the game what it is. Character models look good, and the overall game has a neat vibe. Jerky animations lead to issues with controlling your character.
3.5
Control
The control mapping is mostly smart and satisfying in execution, but controls weren't designed to stand up well to some of the game's action-heavy boss levels. Some sense of weight when using the flashlight would have been nice. Graphical issues have a slight, negative effect on control of your character and various items he'll use throughout the game.
3.0
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Though the voice work is sparse, it's entertaining. The music is pretty unremarkable, as are the sound effects, but nothing ever gets in the way of the experience.
3.8

Play Value
The initial playthrough is fairly lengthy for an $8 WiiWare game. Extra modes, replayable levels, and an unlockable character definitely add real weight to the package. We do wish, however, there was more than just a paper-thin story.

3.7
Overall Rating - Good
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Dark creatures have taken over Jake's high school, and it's up to you to guide him through each classroom in order to be reunited with his girlfriend Rachael.
  • Existing light sources must be used smartly to create bridges of light for Jake to cross. One false step, and Jake gets pulled into the darkness. Along the way he'll encounter twisted versions of his school's faculty, which must be battled in order to advance.
  • It contains 30 levels, five boss battles, replay modes, and several unlockables including multiple endings, Dark Mode timed challenges, and an unlockable character.


  • Screenshots / Images
    Lit screenshot - click to enlarge Lit screenshot - click to enlarge Lit screenshot - click to enlarge Lit screenshot - click to enlarge Lit screenshot - click to enlarge Lit screenshot - click to enlarge Lit screenshot - click to enlarge Lit screenshot - click to enlarge

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