Puzzle games, in general, are a typical first step for developers; there's not much to figure out in terms of AI and pathing, you typically don't have to stress about projectile physics, and you can begin to curate a developer following if your release is successful enough. At its core, puzzle games fall into one of two categories; you versus the developer, or you versus chance and probability. The latter is more readily seen in games such as Tetris, where chance (and how you deal with it) can be far more impactful. Portal would be an embodiment of the first, where you're matching wits with the developer on a predetermined route. \n \nLightmatter is of the former as well, pitting players in an advanced science-fiction facility where they've discovered renewable energy technologies that rival the sun. Everyone is, of course, very excited to set their eyes on this glorious discovery, and Virgil (the CEO of Lightmatter Technologies) is willing to allow players to occupy the same space as him. Virgil is rather reminiscent of Cave Johnson from the Portal series, an eccentric that does his own thing to the result of baffling technologies. \n \nhttps:\/\/twitter.com\/TunnelVisionG\/status\/1203253662690230273 \n \nIndeed, even the color palette seems to pay homage to the wildly successful Portal franchise, with washed-out monochromatic vibes echoing the trailers; spots of color are used to highlight areas the player should interact with. \n \nEventually, as everything goes wrong as tends to be the norm with eccentric scientists, and players are forced to figure a way out. The dark will kill you, so careful manipulation of light is necessary to think your way outside of the devious factory. David Bateson, the voice actor for the Hitman franchise, has lent his considerable talents as Virgil, who continues to mock and\/or encourage the player as they make their way out. \n \nFans are already getting excited about a new first-person indie puzzle game coming to Steam, if for no other reason than the developers of Lightmatter, Tunnel Vision Games, have yet to be bought out by the Epic Game Store. The idea of it being dystopically flavored with a madman is mere icing on the cake. \n \nYet just offering a new puzzler to Steam isn't enough for Tunnel Vision, so they took it a step further. The first hour of Lightmatter is absolutely free to play; if you like what you see, you can pick up the full version and your save progress will carry over. If not, no harm, no foul. \n \nThis gives curious consumers a chance to see if the puzzles found within Lightmatter will vibe well enough with them, prior to taking the plunge; an act that other developers would be wise to follow. Willing to wager that this act will bode well for their Steam reviews, which is frankly paramount to success on the crowded platform. \n \nYou can shine a light through the darkness yourself on January 15th, 2020, when Lightmatter releases on Steam.