Lucid is a simple, colorful, matching-based puzzle game from YeaBoing. It ditches complexity in all its forms in favor of a pure puzzle experience, slowly ratcheting up the difficulty to keep your brain thinking as fast as you can match dreamy-colored tiles.
Lucid is all about drawing lines over clusters of colored blocks to clear them from the screen. You can mark as few as two blocks at a time, provided you can draw a straight line between the pieces. Groups of blocks must be cleared according to the color shown in the task slot on the left side of the screen. Clear a group of that color and the next task pops up. Clear enough and you'll move on to the next level!
Even with a puzzle game as focused as Lucid, there are a few bonus blocks to be found. Naturally, the lucid block is one of them, and you'll earn one by pulling off a combo using task blocks. Match the bouncy lucid blocks and you'll clear the screen, very useful for times when the grid doesn't seem to want to work in your favor. You'll also encounter some score bonuses while you play, which are great if you're one of those gaming hounds who likes to drool over high scores!
Later in the game, Lucid starts to get wicked difficult. Instead of simple tasks to complete, for example, you'll have very specific tasks, such as matching groups of three or more colors. The level design also seems to get more intelligent, and if you're observant, you can often see easy combos you can create from the beginning of the level.
Analysis: Lucid is all about the puzzles, not cutscenes, not cheesy stories, not extras, mini-games, diversions, or cute characters with big eyes that explain everything to you in 30 minute long tutorials. Something about its stark simplicity reminds me of the earlier days of video games, back when all you needed was a good idea and a smart way of implementing it to entertain crowds of people. While that may be going the way of the helicopter ejection seat in modern times, Lucid refuses to bow down to those conventions.
Even though Lucid keeps the gameplay simple, no part of the presentation suffers from the retro stylings. Lucid looks and plays like a dream, with smoothly-animated blocks drifting around while you match them, lines that are wobbly and natural instead of jagged and angular, and a hazy color palette that makes you feel like you're half-asleep. In a good way! The visual package is half the reason you stay riveted to the screen while playing this game.
Lucid displays very smart design from beginning to end. Every aspect of the game is crafted to provide a clean, clever experience where it's just you and the blocks on the grid. No distractions, no sidetracks, just some brilliantly-built puzzles that will keep you busy for hours on end. An excellent puzzle game by any set of standards!