There is perhaps very little that’s original about Lazors – a puzzle game where laser beams must be redirected around a tiled grid to reach a goal – but sometimes an old idea done right is just the tonic.
Bouncing laser beams around has been a standard of computer puzzling for decades. For instance, Laserwars (1994), or Deflektor (1987). If anything, Lazors is a simplified version of the concept, but pleasingly reduced to make it a tight, neat puzzle game.
Each puzzle begins with a grid of tiles and a selection of block types to place within them. Your task is to bounce the laser(s) from their starting point to their goal(s). What keeps it interesting is in fact how limited it all is, rather than sprawling screens and room for improvisation. Instead you’re juggling a minimal amount, making the tougher challenges all the more intriguing when you’re aware of the limited permutations.
With 280 puzzles for under £4, it’s a good deal too. Puzzles are loosely grouped into runs of 10, with new elements and block types introduced the further you get down the list. Glass blocks don’t just bounce the beam, but also split it, letting it pass straight through as well. Prism blocks redirect the light in a straight line for one block, before sending it back on its diagonal path. Wormhole blocks bend the beam into their middles, ejecting them from their paired wormhole block (something that gets properly interesting when you bounce a beam through the same wormhole twice).
And it all neatly works, no fuss, no show. It’s graphically dull as a ditch, there’s no music, scant plinky sound effects – this is an austere production. But it delivers a huge pile of smart puzzles without pretension, which turns out to sometimes be enough.
Lazors is out now on Steam for £3.40.