Lumo is the brainchild of Gareth Noyce, who used to work at Microsoft Studios and has worked on Fable 2 and both Crackdown games. Together with his new studio, Triple Eh? Ltd, they have created Lumo, a new isometric adventure and platform game which pays loving homage to old 80s classics in the genre, such as Head Over Heels and Knightlore, as well as references and gameplay sections based on other popular games, film and TV from the era. In short they have absolutely nailed it with expertly crafted game design that perfectly replicates what made these games so special with beautiful homages to 80s games, film and TV. It is wonderful.
In Lumo there are two modes you can play. Adventure Mode has infinite lives, a world map (although pieces of map must be found within the levels) and you can save your progress at any time and it also auto saves after clearing each room. Old School Mode has limited lives, no map and…no saves! Gameplay in Lumo is very challenging so even on Adventure Mode it will take you a fair amount of time to figure out how to clear each room but with unlimited lives it takes the pressure off and the map will help you explore the game’s complex labyrinth of rooms, portals that take you to different areas and multiple levels of verticality. Old School Mode is like how the old games used to be very challenging difficulty, a set amount of lives, no save games due to the limited tech of the time and when I played them the only “map” I had was the ones I had scrawled into a notebook I kept at the side of my ZX Spectrum. This mode will be a serious challenge to complete and there is leaderboards for doing so which you can compare with your friends’ completion times and secrets found on the main menu.
Gameplay has you exploring isometric 3D areas, jumping on platforms with a huge variety of settings with many different traps and enemies to avoid. There are also lots of fiendishly difficult puzzles to solve which involve moving objects to the right location to jump on and reach a higher area, reflecting beams of different coloured lights to matching colours on the wall, mazes to navigate and try and find your way through and many more. The game constantly throws new challenges at you with different enemies, types of platforms to jump across and other hazards that it always keeps you on your toes.
There is wonderful references to popular games, films and TV from the 1980s throughout as I’ve mentioned from pictures on the walls, objects within the levels to full gameplay sections that play exactly like the game they are paying homage to. Over 30s gamers will utterly adore these and younger gamers alike will get to see what made these games and other mediums so special within a beautiful modern looking game. Lumo’s graphics are wonderful and whilst it won’t trouble some of the most technically impressive games of this generation it has a subtle beauty and simplicity to it all that perfectly captures the spirit of the games it so lovingly imitates.
What Gareth Noyce and Triple Eh? have achieved here is exemplary and absolutely nails what they set out to do. In fact Lumo is the best game I have played this year and stands tall as one of my favourites of the current generation. I had an absolute blast from start to finish and the constant nods, winks and loving nostalgic trips down memory lane the game took me on made me smile more than any other game in recent memory and took me back to my childhood, to simpler times when these games were at their most popular, where it feels like you are on a grand magical adventure and fully sucked me deep into it’s world. Just from this trailer below I can see areas I never even found so I’ll be going back in for a second play through very soon and it is an experience that will stay with me forever. I definitely have been left wanting more and hope and pray this game gets the support it thoroughly deserves so we get to see Lumo 2!
Easiest 10 I’ve ever given. I am absolutely head over heels (wink) in love with Lumo and cannot wait to see what Triple Eh? brings us next!