Saturday, 4 June 2016

Lumo - Game Review

I had the opportunity to check out Lumo recently at the London MCM Comic Con


Released on – PS4, PC, Mac and Linux

Version reviewed – PS4
Other versions - Xbox One and PS Vita coming soon
Install size - 3gb

Developed by Gareth Noyce who has previously worked on Crackdown (1 and 2), Project Gotham Racing 3 and Fable 2, and this is his first game developed for Triple-Eh? games

This is a love letter to those old style of games like Knight Lore, Head Over Heels and Gunfright, an homage to those games you would wait about 30 minutes to load up on tape and sit around reading the Beano or Dandy

Rising Star Games were kind enough to supply me with a review copy so I could delve into it properly at home so lets dive right in

When you start the game you're given the choice of either
  • Adventure
    • You get infinite lives, a map, the game saves regularly and you can explore in your own time
  • Old Skool
    • A finite number of lives, no map, no saves and play against the clock like it's 1985
As much as I wanted to play Old Skool style, I feel that modern games have ruined my gaming by being far too easy so for the purposes of this review I went with Adventure

You then get to choose whether you want to be a boy or a girl, and the colour of his/her outfit. I really liked this, it was good to actually get a choice in a game like this and brought some modern game aesthetics to the classic style game


You enter a gaming club where there are posters over the walls, people playing on consoles at tables and arcade machines but something catches your eye

You get sucked in Tron style and this is where the game REALLY begins

You have to collect four different pieces from the real world to be able to escape and come back home


From here the game doesn't hold your hand or tell you where to go, it just lets you get on with it and explore on your own

And explore you do, there are over 400 rooms to solve puzzles in four main locations

It starts you off with basic puzzles to solve and builds up to really test your gaming skills, either by building on what has gone before and making it more difficult or introducing a completely new mechanic

Some of the puzzles are fiendishly difficult if you're not used to this sort of game, or you haven't quite got the mechanics down, I lost count at how many lives I lost during this first run through so I'm dreading playing Old Skool mode with its finite number of lives

Speaking of that, there are specific puzzles in particular that are fiendish to the core due to the control scheme you might be playing on. There are three to choose from, one is normal controls so up is up, down is down etc. The other two either change up to diagonal up left or diagonal up right. This is essential for puzzles like these where you swing on the ropes and need to make exact jumps but changing your controls isn't too much of a hassle

There are also some great homages to classic games that break up the pace of the game and are incredibly fun, I was smiling to myself throughout at just how cool these were

You come across these homages either playing the main game or through six special zones which you access with the coins you collect whilst in the game. One of them is a cool take on Devil Dice but I won't spoil the rest as coming to it with no spoilers makes it more enjoyable


The graphics are pleasing to the eye, and you never get confused by what something is and this plays into the puzzles as you'll instantly recognise what you have to do if you've seen something before. 

The lighting in particular is nice when you are using your torch, casting your characters shadow on the walls

Here's the death animation, which is an absolutely beautiful particle effect and I love the skull that pops out too. I saw this a LOT :D

The music is also really good, by Dope Demand which switches between nice and slow, to frantic on some puzzles and I felt the music always fit the tone of my surroundings

Lasting appeal

I played through this in 3 sittings so about 8 hours to get through and complete it, but there are lots of things I missed

Throughout the levels are ducks lying around you can collect and some of them are very difficult to get

Also of the six special zones I mentioned I only came across two of them in this playthrough so I expect to play this multiple times to see everything

There's also Old Skool mode to consider and there is potential there for speed runs to see just how fast you can beat the game and how much completion percentage

Final verdict

With its homage to past games I thought that this would only appeal to older gamers but I think that everyone would enjoy this

Sure it's hard in places but that is what the Adventure mode infinite lives are for

Hard modes have also started to really come back especially with the likes of Blood Borne and Dark Souls so people wanting a challenge should get this too

I wholeheartedy recommend this game so go buy it people!

Plus check out this awesome PS4 loading art by Wil Overton of Super Play, N64 Magazine and Rare fame, Reminiscent of the box art on the old systems from the 80s

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