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Gleam carries a meaningful futuristic story that we learn in the opening through beautiful graphics. With a little tutorial in the first level, we are thrown into the first puzzle. In our gameplay, you can see it is a rather simple one. We have to slice the gems to aim at a good angle in order to set a path through various gem reflections in the least amount of slices (aka moves) possible. This idea is much easier said than actually done.
Gleam is a downright challenge. It takes time to learn how to slice and what angle to use (even if there is a small guided line showing where the light will land) and even the specific path to take to complete the level. At times, it will be so hard that it is frustrating and it might lead to feelings of stupidity and wonderment of whether it is our own incompetence.
After two games by Hiker Games, we can already tell that they are there to provide a challenging experience to its players. There is a no hint system (just like Eraser) and the only way to solve it is through our own persistence and problem-solving skills. Gleam is a grueling challenge and it meant for only those who enjoy a solid challenge, one that relies solely on you. Sometimes these are the most rewarding upon success. However, it may also be this taxing experience that could drive some other players away.
For what it is, Gleam does do a few things right. For one, the art here is beautiful. The living organism is placed under a glass protection, much like the rose in Beauty and the Beast. This is where the second danger comes in. It is not only about how to slice the gem and finding the correct angle but eventually anticipating where the debris falls. This comes at times as an additional frustration to rethink the strategy. At the same time, another positive aspect is adding in the guiding angles of where the light hits before slicing the gem to find the right spot. However, this also comes with the downfall that it not only requires incredible accuracy but also, the touch function may sometimes not be as sensitive or effective and it will cut prematurely. There is backing up so the puzzle starts back at zero.
Hiker Games’ Gleam: Last Light is a challenging physics-based puzzle. It created all sorts of emotions in us from frustration and downtrodden to feelings of joy and relief when we succeed. In the end, we can only recommend this for extreme players who enjoy this game style filled with challenges and only you and your brain to help you pass. We can see the heart in this project and their intentions, even if this frustrating roller coaster ride may not be completely our cup of tea.
Developer: Hiker Games
Platform: iOS, Android