If you’re looking for a new falling block puzzler that’s just as great for short play sessions as it is for long bouts of frantic action, Light Byte (Out Now, $0.99) should be right up your alley. Courtesy of Steve Pastro and Ayopa Games, this casually accessible yet hella-challenging game puts both your matching and memory skills to the test.
Naturally, the idea here is to clear blocks from a falling wall by matching colors; tapping on one block primes your block busting ability, and from that point on you have free reign to clear any blocks of the same color on the wall’s constantly reshaped bottom row. If you accidentally target a block of another color you’ll have wasted a precious moment and you’ll have to think fast about whether to restart the process or go with the flow — it’s hardly an easy decision as the wall closes in.
Now here’s where things get really interesting: if you survive the first minute or so of your play session, colors begin fading away, leaving a glass-clear wall for you to contend with. At that point you’ll have to reveal colors column by column and remember where your matches lie. As you might have guessed, this is the point at which your game will end unless your short term memory is on par with your matching skills! A little further in, the game introduces extra colors to foil your probability of lucky matches. Many endless games try to get along on increasing speed, and while the pace definitely picks up in Light Byte, it’s great to see the challenge level change in such a clearly recognizable way.
That’s not to say you’ll have no help along your road to inevitable defeat. If you can manage a long string of same-color knockouts you’ll enter a brief “Frenzy Mode,” where you have the privilege of laying waste to the wall as you deem fit. Shorter chains produce bonuses that stop the wall for a brief time or destroy certain formations, and these power-ups level up over time as the player takes out blocks of associated colors.
Light Byte shares a lot with the recently released Suspect in Sight in its repetitive-but-eventually-open-ended nature. There are a few time attack variations and a challenge mode that begins with all block colors in play, but you’ll already have proven yourself a uber-faithful customer before unlocking them. Still, with no user interface complaints coming to mind and just enough visual glamor to keep you engaged, it’s a fun long haul.
iFanzine Verdict: A satisfying game of color matching and memorization that challenges you with the default mode before finally rewarding you with some variation down the road. Light Byte is completely worth checking into if you’re looking for a falling block puzzler fix that lasts.