Published on July 11th, 2016 | by Scot Mackay0
According to the Xbox Store, Lumo is described “As a contemporary take on the long-lost isometric platform genre, Lumo can be enjoyed by anyone looking for an absorbing, challenging and rewarding adventure”.
Which is nice, but WTF is an isometric platformer?? It’s not a description I had come across before and although I have played many, many games in my time, I was curious to see what the Hell it was. So using my insanely generous brainpower, I did what anyone else would do. I Googled it.
Once I managed to find a decent explanation, it quickly twigged as to what they were meaning.
“A subgenre of both 3D and 2D platformers, isometric platformers present a three-dimensional environment using two-dimensional graphics in isometric projection.”
(Thank you Wikipedia)
So, if you understood everything written above, that is just wonderful. For everyone else I am going to give you an even easier description.
It’s a game that is squint.
There. Much easier.
The onscreen play area or level is based at an angle to give the impression that as the character walks toward one of the top corners of the screen, he is walking away from the player. If he is walking towards one of the bottom corners, he seems to walk towards the player. Simple, isn’t it?
Now we got that all out the way, let’s get on with the review.
Everything about Lumo, screams of the forgotten gaming golden era of the 80’s and 90’s. It is about bringing back the most basic of reasons to game, and that is to explore. Before the Trophies and Achievement points, gamers played to escape and explore fantastical worlds and delve into the deepest, darkest dungeons. This is recapturing that feel, that essence of old-skool gaming and its doing so with light hearted charm and style.
Playing as somewhat of a magician character, well, more of a massive magician’s hat and a pair of legs underneath, your adventure begins and you start making your way through various rooms. Each has a unique reason for being. It could be a puzzle that needs solved, an ability to gain, a key to aid your progress later or some form of physical challenge such as avoiding flamethrowers, building stairs out of ice cubes or simply navigating a narrow ledge. Believe me when I say, the fact that Lumo is an isometric styled game and with the positioning of the levels, it is fairly difficult to ensure that you jump exactly where you need to or to teeter along narrow paths with millimetres to spare in any dignified manner.
There will be plenty to keep you going when you realize that Lumo has over 500 different rooms for you to discover and overcome so make sure you have brought snacks; we are in for the long haul.
Each room looks as if they have been hand drawn and I keep being reminded of elements of Fantasia. Now, that could be the oversized magicians hat that keeps giving me that feeling but it could also be that what seems to be such a simple idea for a game, with simple controls and very simple game mechanics, it still manages to capture my attention and keep It there until I can progress further on.
In a day and age when games are offering us more explosions than a Michael Bay movie, journeys that can stretch across the stars with intricately woven detailed character designs and landscapes bathed in the morning sunshine which are covered with the dewy mist that clearly uses the top of the line particle physics. Lumo reigns it all in to give a fantastic gaming experience on a more personal level. There is no need for jaw dropping moments, or huge action set pieces, it’s all about you the gamer getting from point A to point B.
I’m not saying it isn’t without its challenges though. Puzzles can start out fairly simple and quickly progress to being much more brain teasing and with very little in the way of text narrative, it is up to you to keep your eyes peeled and check every nook and cranny for anything that can be useful. On top of all those wonderful puzzles are the collectibles. There are so many to discover with some strange ones such as rubber ducks and hardware pieces and also more typical ones such as coins and ancient messages. As you can imagine, with so many places to hide them, even the most hardened completionist might struggle. Why collect these? I don’t know, I’m 32 and by the time it would take me to discover them all, I would be in a nursing home shouting at pigeons whilst walking about with my ass hanging out when I put my bathrobe on the wrong way.
If any of you finally manage it, let me know.
Coming in at a measly 3.72gb, Lumo will not drain your storage space and tipping the money scale at £15.99 you might think it a bit steep for a game that doesn’t offer what we typically look for in a game (spills, chills and cheap thrills) but with the right mindset and sense of adventure, there is plenty of enjoyment to be had and if you are one of those nutcase completionists, then this is most definitely the game to give you a long running challenge.
To finish this review, I feel it’s only right to tip our hat to the man that made it possible, Mr. Gareth Noyce (above) who heads up Triple Eh? ltd. It is from his imagination that Lumo sprang forth and gained quite a following. Make sure you check him out on Twitter as he seems to be one of the genuine Big Bang Theory kinda’ nerds, coasting through life on his talents, humor and staggeringly awesome rack …. (maybe that’s just Bernadette). Okay so let’s forget the rack but check him out anyways as this is a game that deserves some attention, love and some serious gaming hours.
- Oozes charm and gives that euphoric feeling of nostalgia.
- With over 400 rooms, this game keeps on giving
- Suitable for all to enjoy with a stunning cartoonish style.
- No real purpose to complete it. Just for achievement hunters.
- Remembering where to go, it’s fricking maze-like.
- No adrenaline producing moments.