App Review: Moonlights by BonusLevel.org
Moonlights is a challenging physics puzzle game. The app consists of 42 levels with the virtually the same goal in each. You need to create a structure with a series of nodes connected by lines such that one of the nodes will be in the circle that is the moon for 3 seconds. The task sounds easy enough, and the first few levels are. After the first few, you run into levels for which there is a trick that you have to figure out to solve it. While these challenges were fun and rewarding when I did discover their secret, I worried about replay value. Once you figure them out, they no longer are a challenge. However, as I progressed through the game, I found levels that required a whole new level of skill presenting challenges in balance and tower construction that would challenge a player each and every time they attempted the level. At this point is when the game really gets good. So, if the first few levels seem a little mundane, give the game a little more time. You’ll get hooked.
The controls for the game are fairly simple and as you play, the app will give you instructions periodically to lead you along. At the beginning of each level you start with a small structure already in place, usually with three nodes in a triangle. You can begin with this structure as it is, or you can change it up a little. To place more nodes, tap on the screen where you want the new node to be. Keep in mind that there is a limit on the distance away from other nodes that you can place them. The app will automaticaly connect the new node to neighboring nodes. However, there may be others that you wish to connect to as well. Simply tap in the space between the nodes to connect them. Placing nodes was, at first, a little frustrating for me. They did not always appear exactly where i wanted them to be. If they don’t, you can remove them easily. Place your finger on the screen and drag it horizontally and vertically to create a red delete square. When you remove your finger from the screen everything in the square will be removed, and you can continue building.
If you get really stuck on a level or just want to see a demonstration of how the game works, many of the levels have a demo available that you can watch. The demo of the first level was helpful to me in figuring out how the game works. One word of caution, though. Watching the demo also gives you the solution to the level. If you don’t want the solution spoiled for you, don’t watch it. A few levels have the added challenge of grabbing stars. To grab a star, you just have to build a node at the spot where the star is or have a node touch the star. After you have grabbed that star, you can keep the node or delete it. The nodes do not have to remain in place on the stars the way they do on the moon.
1. Keep an eye on the number of nodes that you have to work with. There is a little number in the upper left corner that appears briefly when you place a node. It tells you how many you have left. If you are trying to place a node and it is not working, chances are you have run out of nodes.
2. Gravity is fully functioning in this app. Towers that are not well balanced may fall over. Also, nodes can roll back and forth across the screen when you tilt your device, which can help and hurt. Green nodes are one exclusion from this rule. Nodes that are green do not roll or move.
3. Keep in mind that you may have to delete nodes in one place and place them again in a new spot to keep moving forward or upward.
Moonlight is a well designed physics puzzler that will challenge your problem-solving capabilities.
Developer’s Website: http://www.bonuslevel.org/moonlights/