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Lifty! – a cute puzzler stuck on the middle floor

Developer: Major Frank Pty Ltd
Price: Free
Size: 314 MB
Version: 1.1.3
Platform: iPhone & iPad


Lifty is a familiar game of shuttling color-coded components to their appropriate end points, though there’s a certain novelty to the way in which you do this.

You essentially play the role of an overworked elevator operator in an assortment of multi-leveled buildings. As cute (yet remarkably impatient) creatures trundle to the edge of their brightly-hued platforms, you must hold the up and down buttons to scoop them up and ferry them to the appropriate floor – orange to orange, green to green, and so on.

Shuttle characters to the appropriate shade of platform

Fail to pick up a character before their wait timer expires, and you’ll lose one of your three lives. The trick here lies in prioritization, as well as intelligent stacking.

Depending on the elevator, you’ll be able to carry multiple passengers at any one time. Given that the individual wait timers stop as soon as they’re onboard, it often pays to wait an extra second or stop to pick up an extra passenger on the way to your destination.

Some passengers are bigger than others

Further complicating matters is the fact that certain passengers are, shall we say, a little larger than others. These individuals occupy multiple berths in your little elevator, thus reducing your multitasking capacity.

There are new characters to discover with unique behavioral attributes, various wackily designed elevators to unlock, and a bunch of environments to ply your trade in. But what initially seems like a well-oiled machine soon starts to creak and grind a little.

The timer is one of Lifty’s more irritating inclusions

Shuttling characters between floors soon becomes a rote and repetitive exercise, and there isn’t much tactile joy to operating your one-track mode of transport. It can all feel agonizingly sluggish in the larger levels, particularly when the game’s arbitrary-seeming timer starts to bite.

Lifty also runs into some familiar – but avoidable – free-to-play issues, as you find your progress barred by punishing difficulty spikes that seem designed to bleed you of the game’s coin currency, or else foist ads on you.

Buying new elevators gets you more capacity and speed

Naturally, you can bolster your account with cold hard cash, as well as directly buying new elevators with greater capacity and speed. But the weighting here just feels a little off, like you’re being made to pay for Lifty’s gameplay inadequacies.

All in all, Lifty makes for a perfectly pleasant casual puzzler time waster. But it’s not a particularly clever or memorable one.