Rising Star Games and Triple eh, Ltd has recently put out Lumo. While the game is not AAA quality, it is quite an addictive game that will challenge some of the most experienced gamers. We had a chance to try it out and play it to its finish, and this is our review of Lumo, as well as some advice on how to beat it, not to mention how to find hidden cassettes, coins, and rubber duck prizes.
Lumo starts out looking like some kind of RPG game from the eighties, and this look is deliberate. This look doesn't last long as the main character is transported into a computer like Jeff Bridges was in the first Tron movie. Again, another eighties reference, but then the game references some of the isometric games from both the 80's and 90's.
The player then becomes this cute little wizard that goes through about 400 rooms for an homage to nostalgic dungeon-crawler games. What is really strange is the goal of the game is to find parts to what is essentially another video game system. Yeah, this is a game with a goal of finding another game, that you don't get to play. It's kind of meta that way.
I am assuming that isometric game means that the game's rooms float in space in a real surreal way, and there is an attempt at a 3-D effect. Now, the 3-D effect is what makes the game challenging, as the player's movement is outright confusing at times. There are times where upon the controller is actually moving the player in a northwest direction, and this can change depending on what direction the player is facing. One of the worst parts of this game is when I had to swing from chains like Tarzan on vines, and I had the worst time with the controls. I had to get my son to beat that part.
There were other times in this game where jumping from one platform to the other proved extremely difficult, as the angle just never seemed to work. The only way to get past this is just adapting it, and fortunately, the game gives you infinite lives. By the way, you can alter how you do the movement in this game, but I found that it didn't help me in whatever setting.
There is an option of the game where you can have limited lives, but I honestly wouldn't have been able to play it for very long if that was the case. Seriously, there are times in this game where I was trying to jump over spikes and unless you time the jump perfectly, you will miss and re-spawn at the beginning of the room where you originally entered. The game is all about dying until you finally get it right.
This harder option of limited lives also removes the mapping option. I suppose that you could go the old-fashioned route and make your own map on pen and paper, as the biggest problem with the mapping option is that there isn't a "You Are Here" mark for the player on it. Seriously, you kind have to figure out where you are using landmarks. This feels wrong to me, as The Legend of Zelda shows Link where he is. But The Legend of Zelda this is not, as obstacles in Lumo are not taken out by fighting, but going through puzzling rooms.
There are about 14 levels in this game, according to the map, but I'm pretty certain that I missed a few of them. That, or I missed the room on the floor that has the page for the book, which is the only way to view the map of the level. By the way, I found that I can go to certain floors, but can't figure out how to go backwards. This is why I'm currently replaying the game in order to see if I can find all of the hidden prizes.
Yes, this game has hidden prizes. There are these 32 rubber duckies, and they are usually found floating in the water. To get them, you have to bounce on them and use the momentum of the bounce to land on solid ground. For the most part, any water kills you.
There are also these cassettes that you can find, and the game does not specify how many cassettes there are. I found a lot more the second time because I found that some rooms do not have obvious exits. I highly recommend that you jump around on things in the room like shelves and get as high as you can, as you might find yourself in a room with a prize. The same goes for the gold coins that are located throughout the game in an indeterminate number, and they are often scattered about in hidden and plain sight locations.
This game is all about going through rooms and progressing slowly. In fact, the game doesn't even allow you to jump at the beginning until you find the item that allows it. Then there is a bunch of levers and switches and platforms and jumping to get to more rooms. Sometimes the game gets really odd as there are spots where you go through a mine car level and skiing level.
Now, there is one room where you get this magic wand, and it has the power to reveal hidden platforms. This wand has to be charged, and sometimes these charging areas are in other rooms, and I have to admit there are some hidden platforms that I missed. Again, I missed levels, so I probably missed some prizes.
For a non-AAA game, there really needs to be some strategy guide as to how to find all the rooms and the prizes. If you have this game, I hope that my advice helped. If you don't have this game, I'm going to recommend it as a challenge. The game is available on Steam for $19.99, as well as multiple formats like PS4, Xbox One, PS Vita, PC, Mac, and Linux.