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Posted by Caitlyn Muncy on Feb 21, 2012

Mini-Review – Lume (PC)

Everyone likes a good Indie game for PC here and there. It’s a good way to see the up and coming game studios grow up from grass roots projects. While there are many genres to choose from, sometimes we forget that not all games are hack and slash or shooters. Thanks to a recent Valentine’s day bundle, I got to play through the first installment of a rather short, but difficult puzzle game called Lume, put out by State of Play.

It follows the story of a young girl who has set out to visit her grandfather. When she arrives, she sees that he is nowhere to be found, and the house is without power. Only a note left on the door is found with clues that will get you into house, where you must solve many puzzles to get the power up and running again. Locking the door to your house and leaving a note for your granddaughter who you know is coming to visit you, and making her find a way to get the power going with no real help seems a little harsh to me, but what do I know?

When we look at games, something we always pay attention to is whether or not it’s visually stimulating. Unless it’s a bigwig title, chances are you’re going to be looking at CGI that is a little jagged or off. That’s why it’s so important for Indie games to try and approach visuals in a game in new ways here and there. I believe this game has definitely hit it’s mark in this regard. Lume is a game set in a world made completely of paper and cardboard. Instead of having a digital world that you go through, you instead have a real world that was panned through with a high-definition camera. As far as movement goes, you travel through your surroundings using the tried and true point-and-click method. While the visuals have a character of their own, and bring a sort of vibrancy to the game, the gameplay is sadly a bit lackluster. The game only lasts about 1-2 hours, if you don’t get caught up on the puzzles for too long that is.

There aren’t many puzzles in this game, but it doesn’t take long before you start scratching your head wondering how you’re going to solve things. I actually had to bust out a pencil and paper to solve one of the puzzles. While I did gripe about it at the first, I noticed I only seemed to get more and more determined to solve it as time went on. The last puzzle however, was so mind-numbingly difficult, that even the developer posted an apology in one of their past blog posts:

*nods apologetically at those who tried for hours to solve Lume’s cupboard lock puzzle*

This game is definitely worth taking a look at, although I don’t know if it’s adequately priced. As it was in a bundle with a few other games, I certainly got a deal on it. At this moment, it’s running at about $6.99 by itself on Steam, which would be alright if it included the upcoming part that is still in the works, but seeing as you’ll likely need to shell out the same amount or more for the upcoming piece of the game, it may be better to wait until they run a deal.

The Good

  • Visually pleasing
  • Fun puzzles

The Bad

  • A bit expensive for how short it is
  • Some of the puzzles are a bit *too difficult*

 

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