What’s it? A puzzle journey a couple of boy exploring a darkish tower along with his cat companion
Count on to pay $23/£17
Developer Lantern Studio
Writer Coconut Island Video games
Hyperlink Official website
Hand-drawn animation has been making a resurgence in video games lately and it’s a greater than welcome function. There’s one thing intimate and charming about 2D hand-drawn animation model and LUNA The Shadow Dust’s paintings is a visible feast for the eyes. Its world invited me in and, for essentially the most half, I used to be utterly enchanted. However sadly, as a lot as LUNA appears to be like superb, there have been moments the place I felt misplaced in its puzzling world.
LUNA The Shadow Dust begins with a anonymous boy falling from the sky. He drops like a stone via the air however, earlier than crashing into the earth, is saved by a magical pressure that conjures a bubble round him, gently laying him on the bottom. After he awakens he finds a rickety tower and, along with his magical cat good friend, begins to make his approach via the rooms to get to the highest. There’s no textual content or dialogue to clarify the story—it’s all a bit mysterious. How excessive the tower is or what’s on the prime shouldn’t be made clear, however LUNA’s ambiance and visuals proved greater than sufficient to entice me contained in the looming fortress.
As you discover the tower, every room is fantastically crafted from the get-go. The first room you enter is the hallway the place an enormous intricate mural depicting historical lore decorates the wall. As you stroll previous it, color begins to bleed into the pictures, such as you’re waking the tower from a deep slumber. The legends of this world are etched into each nook and open floor. The cosy kitchen, large library, and flamboyant music room are all bursting with element that made me stay up for what different rooms and secrets and techniques had been hidden away.
Every room within the tower acts a self-contained puzzle. If you clear up it, the door the subsequent room will unlock, letting you progress additional. The puzzles are in the identical vein as different point-and-click adventures—doing easy actions in a sure order, pushing platforms, urgent buttons, and switching between controlling the boy and his feline good friend.
Puzzle rooms aren’t simply button pushing and lever pulling, although. Theres all the time a enjoyable magical twist. In a single room, your cat companion transforms right into a shadow that may traverse partitions, leaping on platforms fashioned by the shadows of different objects. One other room has a door that transports the duo to totally different seasons, and there’s a hall of stained glass home windows that morph to point out totally different saints. These animations preserve the puzzles from being too static, giving every some aptitude and making them a pleasure to unravel.
One main theme that’s repeated all through all of the puzzles is image matching. Nearly each puzzle requires you to match two symbols collectively or challenges you to take a look at how sure pictures relate to others. It could virtually appear overused if it didn’t match completely with LUNA’s silent story.
Much like the mural within the entrance, there are quite a few work and historical symbols that depict lore and legends all through the tower they usually have a stunning quantity of element. Massive areas of rooms are devoted to those intricate murals that not solely give a backdrop to this fantasy universe but in addition tie in with the puzzle-solving. I discovered that if I used to be caught on a puzzle, I might study the atmosphere and there would inevitably be a be aware, image or mural to information me.
The solely time the place I felt annoyed with its puzzles—and sadly LUNA does have irritating moments—is when these environmental clues had been nowhere to be seen. As an alternative, I discovered myself randomly clicking and repeating actions in numerous preparations till I discovered the fitting order.
LUNA runs into the identical downside that many silent narratives fall into. If a sport solely communicates via wall murals and symbols, lovely as they may be, particulars are going to get misplaced. Each LUNA’s puzzles and its narrative endure from this. The primary story beats are clear, however the intricacies of this magical world are utterly misplaced, particularly in direction of the tip the place a transparent understanding of the magical forces would have given the emotional finale extra punch.
LUNA The Shadow Dust is a enjoyable journey with some stellar paintings. The puzzles and their magical twists had been a pleasure to unravel, despite the fact that there have been one or two that left me floundering. As a lot as I appreciated its mysterious silent storytelling, it left me wanting extra and never in a great way. I might have cherished to know extra in regards to the roles that gentle and shadow play on this fantasy universe, and the way all of the gods and saints tie into this darkish tower on the fringe of the world.