A number of adjectives spring to mind when talking about Lumo. Adorable, cute, charming; it’s a game with a distinctive and appealing look to it and a lot of that stems from the diminutive child wizard that you play as.
There’s no dialogue in the game, just the occasional little yelps from jump or from getting hit and killed, yet the wizard just fits the game perfectly, somehow. It makes me think of animated films where a child plays dress up in adult sized wizarding garb.
The other word that the game exudes is ‘retro’. Gareth Noyce, the developer behind the one man studio Triple Eh?, makes no bones about his clear and particularly old school gaming inspirations. He’s spoken to us before about how Head Over Heels and Equinox were games that he drew upon, but also that there’s little bits of Zelda or Metroidvania in there as well.
Some of those more open world influences come later in the game than what I played – the video above shows the opening of the game that I played and spoke to Gareth about last year – but there’s plenty more to pick up on. There’s things like SD cards in this medieval styled castle, where each room hangs in the void of space, boxes that follow you like lost puppies, and tons of collectable rubber ducks. Then again, who says that videogames have to always be logical and realistic?
Then again, this isn’t purely old school or a remake of those classic games. There’s a very gradual learning curve, where you can’t even jump until you’ve shown you can handle the type of isometric controls you’ve picked. There is a more difficult mode with limited lives, without a map, and so on.
If that attitude and a step back towards and older sensibility appeals to you, click play on the video above to see the opening 12 minutes of the game – well, 12 minutes if you know where you’re going – or check out our previous preview and chat with Gareth.