Retro of the Week Logo
Posted by Davrinsky sky
Posted on 23 July, 2013 at 10:46AM ↑ 0 ↓ 0

Originally released for the 8-bit Atari, this wonderful DOS game, from 1994, was one of the first games I may have experienced called Heartlight. Heartlight is a puzzle game that involves collecting all of the hearts in each level to get the doors of the exit to open and let you proceed to the next level, but be careful how you collect the hearts and how you get to the exit. Based on how you make your moves, you may end up having objects falling on you, or you could simply just get stuck.  The concept and controls of this game are very simple, but the challenges of some levels can stump you for a period of time.

First I would like to place a note that this game is literally blocky. Everything in this game, weather it be an object, an explosion, or a wall, or the character you play as, they all take up one square in the level. The game is 2d based where you play as a very explosive gnome. There are allot of parts in the game the make up each level. the most common is what I would call, grass.  the grass is not affected by gravity, it can hold up or catch any object. it can be used as a platform for objects because of this. other things not affected by gravity are: the gnome, and walls. one exception is the balloon that always goes up and can push up any one object.

the gnome, that you control, takes up one square in the level. Each movement is a movement to a different square. If you move into a square of grass, the grass disappears and is now a square of space. the gnome can push green balls, and bombs that looks like a ball of grapes, which is kind of odd. These objects cannot be pushed into grass though. only the gnome can walk into grass to clear space, or make a path for objects to go through.  The game consists of Pushing the balls out of the way, or in a specific way, depending on the level. Some other levels also consist of pushing bombs to make explosions. the explosions create more paths like you would in the grass in order to collect the hearts. The game allows quite a bit of room for movement, but there are specific squares of grass that your going to need, or don't need depending on the level. Some times you may accidentally remove a piece of grass that may cause a ball to fall on the gnome's head. Every time the gnome dies, he disappears by explosion. the explosion only takes up the square the gnome is in, so it doesn't do anything to the level other than let the object that fell on you, fall down to the square you no longer are in. also, if you get physically stuck, you can always hit Esc to have him explode anyway and start the level over.


levels involve walls that will be an obstacle to get past. allot of times when a wall level is introduced that blocks the path to hearts, you would also be provided bombs in the level. bombs are objects in specific places in the level you can push. if it falls and hits any surface that isn't grass, it will explode into a plus sign made up of five explosion squares. if a brick wall is right next to the explosion, there will be an empty square space in the wall in place where one of the 5 spaces of explosion happened. There are some walls that are indestructible.  I have killed my self too many times with these bombs. There are some thrilling levels where you would set off a chain reaction of bombs and you would have to collect all of the hearts before the bombs destroys any of them or yourself.  As the gnome, you would need to modify the grass so the bomb, that you would push, falls into the part of the wall you would like to blow up. bombs also go off if green balls fall on them as well, which makes the ball disappear. thus bombs can also be used to clear balls out of the way including walls that are not steel.  Hearts can also kill the gnome if they fall on the gnome.


Something that is interesting about the physics in this game is the rule of what makes an object fall off of a ledge. If 2 balls are stacked on top of eachother, for example, the ball on top falls down the the left or right of the bottom ball. this is if there is no support on the top ball. support being the obejects or parts being a square next to the top object. The same rule applies for hearts or bombs. Most of the time, an item will fall after clearing space that is diagionally below the object.  Hearts or any object that fall into an explosion will not disapear from the explosion but will instead be on top of the explosion square. After the explosion expires in that square, the item on top continues to falls down. Items will only disapear from an explosion if they are in the square to be incenerated in the first place.

with a different combination of these objects and parts, the game makes multiple unique levels that are interesting and challenging. There are 70 distinct levels that range from puzzling and interesting, to thrilling and thinking in real time. I don't like puzzles very much but this was one of the rare few that I actually enjoyed.

Lazlo Falconi
23 July, 2013 at 2:13PM ↑ 0 ↓ 0

When I started reading this, I couldn't figure out what you were going on about, this seemed like the c raziest game ever, yet still interesting.

But then I saw that screen shot, and ooohhh man. I remember this game.

Well... Sort of. It definitely was interesting.

23 July, 2013 at 3:29PM ↑ 0 ↓ 0

Interesting. Having not played it, I'm reminded of games like Digger for DOS.

23 July, 2013 at 6:44PM ↑ 0 ↓ 0

yeah I guess the game is a bit hard to explain.

Davrinsky sky
23 July, 2013 at 6:45PM ↑ 0 ↓ 0

that's me... sorry lol

24 July, 2013 at 05:39AM ↑ 0 ↓ 0

I remember this game. It's dope. The whole family was obsessed with it.
I nostalgically thought about this game for years after, wondering if it was lost in the caverns of DOS time.
Thanks for the review.

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