|System: X360 (XBLA), PC||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: LucasArts||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: LucasArts||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Oct. 7, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
The fact that the blocks disappear after a short time doesn't help, either, forcing you to stay focused on where Sofi is right now and reacting as quickly as possible when she's threatened. As the game wears on, the levels get progressively longer, harder, and more complicated, and as you unlock more item types, it becomes less likely you'll get the item you need at the right time. Without the ability to work ahead, it feels like playing Pipe Dream one piece of pipe at a time; you have to just scroll through the items the game spews out until you get to the one you need. On the harder levels, it feels like the random pieces, rather than your skills, determine whether you finish.
Obviously, anyone who owns both an Xbox 360 and a gaming PC will want to buy this game for the latter (make sure to check the system requirements, though, because they're pretty demanding for a 2-D game). Whenever you get into a jam, you need to move the cursor quickly and precisely, and there's no better way to do this than with a mouse. That's not to say the console controls are clumsy or badly implemented; they're just, by their very nature, not quite as handy. The Wii-mote's pointer function might put up more of a fight, but thus far there's no promise of a port to Nintendo's console.
Another contributor to this game's frustration factor is its lack of checkpoints. Each time you beat a level, the game saves, but within the levels themselves, each death equals a do-over. This is a tough game, and without checkpoints you end up playing the beginning stretches of some levels many, many times. Many gamers will find themselves hurling words at Sofi that someone her age shouldn't even know (we plead the Fifth on that).
[UPDATE: LucasArts listened, and recently announced an update that adds checkpoints. As of Nov. 27, 2009, the update is available for PC and will take effect "in the coming weeks" on XBLA.]
Lucidity has great graphics, a wonderfully moody story, and enjoyable (if derivative) gameplay. There are plenty of levels containing tons of fireflies, though an initial play-through only takes a few hours. Unfortunately, when a game makes you want to smash your controller, it becomes a lot harder to recommend. Hardcore puzzle fans should pick this up, and some platforming devotees might get a kick out of it. Everyone else, however, should bear in mind that they might not finish what they start.
CCC Freelance Writer