Lightmatter Review – An enjoyable attempt to mirror Portal’s success

Lightmatter sounds and feels like many games. No, not Portal, but games trying to be Portal. You know the spiel, a humorous antagonist, puzzle rooms, and a pitch that probably can be summed up with “It’s like Portal but …” In this case, It’s like Portal but focused on Light instead of Portals.

Now many of these “portal clones” are of mixed quality. Most of them just seem to miss the whole point of what Portal does, such as Magrunner, a game I recently looked at didn’t like. Some games actually are quite enjoyable though still lacking that special spark, such as The Turning Test, and some games are just exceptional puzzle games, such as The Talos Principle.

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Magrunner: Dark Pulse – It’s like Portal but not good.

Magrunner: Dark Pulse is a first-person puzzle game that has a gun that has two fire modes. If it sounds like I am trying to make Magrunner: Dark Pulse sound like Portal, that’s because I am. If you think that comparison is unfair, give me another paragraph.

Similar to Portal, the main player is placed in a number of tests where they have to solve the puzzle to exit the room. The game starts to move away from the test chamber progression in the second Act and ultimately has the player fighting… well in this case it appears to be Cthulhu.

So not everything is Portal here, and it is lacking some of the best parts of that comparison, having neither a charismatic villain such as Glados or a focused and humorous story, but Magrunner has clearly learned about game design from Portal as it tries very hard to imitate that formula that still remains one of the strongest puzzle games ever made.

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