Try as they might, the silly, bug-eyed pollution monsters populating Stay Alight do absolutely nothing to lessen the macabre, melancholy mood of a world littered with forgotten toys and the broken bodies of those that came before.
Perhaps I'm just far too used to my trajectory puzzles being cute and cuddly, thanks to Angry Birds and its various clones. When I draw back my arm and calculate the angle of a projectile these days, I expect silly sounds and goofy explosions, not a small spark of dimming hope bouncing off the shattered head of fallen fellow bulb-person, light flaring hopefully and then quickly fading.
Or maybe this is just how they do cute and cuddly in the Ukraine.
Whatever the case, it's hard not to get caught up in the creepy visuals and moody music of Stay Alight. It all feels so hopeless, even when it's shining its brightest.
If you managed to not get carried away on waves of melancholy, beneath the dust and grime you'll discover a highly-polished puzzle game. The challenge here is high, and the game does not go out of its way to hold your hand. New power-ups and abilities are explained quickly and then you're back in the dark, hurling your positive energy at overwhelming problems and hoping something sticks. The levels are well-crafted and there's always a solution — you've just got to find it.
I'm lost in a world of broken dreams, and the only one that can save me is me. It's a happy sort of despair.
- Genre: Physics Puzzle
- Developer: Wyse Games
- Platform: iOS
- Price: $.99