Lumo sells itself on the idea that it’s reviving the isometric puzzle platforming genre. Throughout my time with the game though, I never felt as though I was replaying a lost genre that I never had the chance to experience. I’m 21 years old, so I never got to experience games like Lumo much at all. I grew up playing puzzle titles like Portal, Braid, Limbo, and a multitude of fun LEGO titles. While those may not fall under the same exact genre as Lumo, I can say with confidence that my experiences with those games were far more engaging than with this title.
Lumo opens up with your character, a young boy or girl, running through an arcade and eventually getting him or herself sucked into a computer game. You then find yourself in the shoes of a small, purple wizard who looks like he came straight out of a Child’s Play movie. I might’ve been able to forgive Lumo for some of its mistakes had it been an aesthetically pleasing game, but it’s not very good looking at all. It does a poor job capturing the magic (no pun intended) of what made the era it’s trying to replicate so great.
On Nintendo Switch, Lumo runs very well and looks identical to the other versions of the game. It doesn’t do anything new on the Switch though, which is incredibly disappointing since I was worried about going in after reading our initial review of the game on PC. I was hoping that there might’ve been some improvements to its faults. If you’re looking for a mindless puzzle game, Lumo does its job at being just that.
Not once during my time with Lumo did I ever really find myself getting stumped on a puzzle. I battled more with the game’s horrific camera angle than I did anything else throughout my journey. Seriously, the game throws very basic puzzles at you, and every once in a while you’ll have a section where you have to jump your way across moving platforms or something of the sort.
Not to mention the game is also incredibly forgiving, too forgiving in fact. You can play the game with a set amount of lives to increase the difficulty. Unfortunately, many of my deaths felt utterly unfair, more because I literally could not see where I was jumping based on the angle of the camera. With that in mind, I wouldn’t recommend the tougher difficulty. I thought it would’ve been if I were able to rotate the camera to better see my objectives, which would’ve been a fantastic addition, but I don’t know, maybe that would’ve been too modern for the game.
There are hundreds of rooms in Lumo spread across four different sections. It was a godsend leaving the first part of the game, which consisted of a bunch of bland, brick walls, and floors. You’re running around pushing boxes, pulling levers, and jumping through painfully easy platforming sections. It’s okay that the game uses the first part to introduce you to a lot of its mechanics, but it just drags on for far too long.
Should you get Lumo on the Switch? I’d say no, but I’ve come across people on the Internet who actually find it to be pretty fun. Considering I grew up in the later 90’s early 2000’s, maybe my opinion of Lumo is skewed and more biased towards a modern control scheme with a good camera, aesthetically pleasing visuals, and challenging puzzles.
Lumo feels like a game I would’ve found on a computer in my public library years ago. It didn’t click with me, but it may click with you, I’m at least happy to report that the Switch port is very well done, and you’ll have no problem finding content to explore in the game. Hopefully, if we ever see a sequel to Lumo, it’ll adopt some more modern mechanics while still retaining some of the retro mechanics that still hold up today. There’s far too much old and so little new, the whole experience feels off, clunky, and underwhelming. You can find a slew of different puzzle and retro titles on the eShop that you’ll probably enjoy a whole lot more than Lumo.