OverLight brings a laser gun to a Tetris fight
The best new gameplay ideas are often the seemingly simplest ones: Super Hexagon is about avoiding collision with shapes, Scribblenauts is just drawings come to life, and Katamari Damacy is rolling items up into a ball. In this vein, OverLight is about destroying glass blocks with lasers. Of course it’s more than that, but there are really a lot of glass blocks and lasers—and a lot of potential.
At first glance, OverLight looks like a game of Tetris gone terribly wrong. See-through L-blocks and Z-blocks are stacked haphazardly on one another, O-blocks teeter on top of I-blocks: but arranging blocks has little to do with this game. These shapes are merely conduits, and ultimately obstacles, for your true focus: laser beams. The game features two parallel laser beams slicing across the stage, and traveling through the glass blocks they encounter. The beams change direction to follow the blocks they hit, turning through L-blocks, zinging straight through I-blocks, wrapping in circles in O-blocks.
A single beam will traverse a block without affecting it. However, when both beams enter the same block—touching any part of it—the glass will overheat and shatter, awarding you points for each broken block. This is your overall goal: to get these two nonintersecting beams to touch the same blocks and break them. Working toward this goal is as simple as clicking on individual blocks to shatter them (at the cost of earned points), but the strategy for choosing the best block and path is much more challenging.
OverLight is currently in alpha funding mode, with a playable demo available on both Desura and Google Play. The demo features the first of four gameplay modes (Arcade, with Time Attack, Clean Up, and Puzzle coming soon), but is already a polished and absorbing experience, ranging between a contemplative puzzle as you plan which blocks to break, to a fast-paced score challenge when rushing for combos. Even more exciting is developer Frooxius’ dedication to making it a truly cross-platform game: the alpha is available on Mac, Windows, Linux, and Android, with the finished game planned for these as well as iOS, Windows Phone 8, OUYA, and browser.
If blowing up blocks with lasers sounds like a blast to you—and really, it should—snag the demo from one of the links above, or help OverLight get into Steam via Greenlight for yet another platform to choose from. This is definitely one to keep an eye on, and to enjoy playing while you do.