The Lite Brite app for iPhone and iPod Touch is the 1970s creative electronic children’s toy reinvented with modern technology. To preserve nostalgia, the premise remains the same – create pictures with different colored pegs that light up against a black background. A nice rendition of the classic artistic toy, the Lite Brite app by Electronic Arts (EA) has some modern features as well.
Lite Brite has three ways for kids (or grownups) to play and create. The standard collection of templates is available, including the memorable clown, an airplane, a dolphin, flamingo and a few others, but also has a free-style mode to create any image you want. You can also create very basic animations with the included animation studio.
While Lite Brite free-style and animation modes incorporate a bit of modern computer design tools, such as basic shapes, lines, letters, an eraser, and the ability to zoom, the classic template mode also incorporates game aspects such as timed challenges and the ability to unlock additional colored pegs. When combined with the animation studio, the overall result is a modern, more creative way to play Lite Brite, but with no loose pegs and no burnt out light bulbs.
A great concept for creative kids and nostalgic adults, the Lite Brite app is appealing to a touch screen platform. The one drawback, which is surprising from a developer giant like EA, is its buggy nature. Sometimes the app won’t launch, sometimes it freezes on the home screen, and sometimes there is a lag or the app is just unresponsive to touch commands. Priced right, a simple update to work out the bugs would make Lite Brite a great combination of tried and true creative play and kid-friendly technology. When it fails to work, it is frustrating, but on the occasions that Lite Brite functions properly, you get a portable Lite Brite to keep creative kids busy and entertained.