Version Reviewed: 1.2
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4S
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Game Controls Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
Lyst Ignition is a matching game that takes a page out of a chemistry textbook. No, that's not to say that this is an educational game that borrows popular game mechanics to teach science principles. In fact, this is a casual matching game that borrows from the scientific understanding of how matter interacts to create more interesting and unique game mechanics within the recognizable structure of the genre. This game has a bright, shiny interface that is easy to use, and though it isn't as easy to learn as some other matching games it is lots of fun once the player understands the basic mechanics.
Lyst Ignition, while a matching game at its core, brings many other variables and options into the mix to create an experience where the player's choices appear limitless. The game consists of falling particles, some of which are colored orange and blue, and the goal is to clear the required amount of particles from the screen and reach the next level before time runs out. Particles are cleared from the screen by using particle interactions to control the fall of the particles and explode as many particles as possible. Players can match the orange and blue particles to different effect. Combining two of the same color creates a vacuum that attracts all nearby particles, while combining two different colored particles explodes all nearby particles and clears them from the screen.
Along with matching particles, there are also various particles, called Catalysts, that will alter the interaction between matched particles by either extending the area of effect or the time the effect lasts. Using these in conjunction with matched particles is essential to progressing from level to level. There are also power-ups that interact with the particles in different ways, such as stopping their fall, dividing them, or starting a chain reaction.
The gameplay is easy, once it's understood. The controls are spot on and even with the hectic rain of particles on the screen, it's easy to match particles for the desired effect. It does take a bit to get used to the way particles are matched and it's not easy to recall all of the different possible interactions in the middle of an intense game. Still, even if players aren't exactly sure what matching two particles will do, the game never punishes the player for experimenting.
Lyst Ignition is a unique matching game, but its complex mechanics can be hard to grasp at first. The game looks great and the particles and their effects all work well to create a game that is a lot of fun to play. Extra modes -- Ignition and Invasion -- also add new elements to the core gameplay and keep things fresh. Learning to play this game might remind players of high school chemistry, but in the long run it's so much more fun.