Lumini was originally made by Speelbaars, a former Dutch developer. The game didn’t do well enough financially in 2017 so the developers decided to say goodbye. So how did Lumini end up on Xbox? Thanks to publisher 2Awesome Studio, they picked up this magical game and is publishing it for consoles! This makes me glad for two reasons, the guys from Speelbaars can be proud and happy that their game finds a way to new players and secondly, Lumini is simply such a wonderful and fun game to play! Unique with so many ways, it is a real shame that Speelbaars isn’t making new videogames. Giving emotions to the player with a game is something only a few developers manage to do. In any case, read my Lumini review and be sure to check it out for yourself.
What we liked!
- Wonderful musical journey: Background sound and the music, everything is a true eargasm. The visuals and sound work hand in hand to deliver a convincing and adorable experience that you rarely find in videogames.
- Magical art style: The strange and incredible colorful world looks boggling, an absolutely charming feat. From dark caves to large open sights with mysterious animals, the creative talent that went into the visuals from Lumini is nothing more than fantastic. The Lumini creatures are so damn cute too, move over baby Yoda your cuteness has been beaten!
- Relaxing gameplay: Lumini doesn’t really have a narrative, you control an alien species that is near extinct and your task as the player is to keep them alive. The linear path between point A and B is full of dangers that requires some precise handling. It is actually very similar to Playstation’s Flower. You collect energy and turn them in to create more Lumini creatures. Playing it is almost like therapy, it is relaxing and almost a soothing experience. Be careful though, when one of your Lumini gets hit it is saddening to see the life being drained away. My main motivation to avoid deadly creatures was to keep my fairly large swarm alive.
- Controlling your swarm(s): At some parts in the game, you have to split your group into two separate controllable swarms. This is done by the right and left analog stick, a few other games have this same mechanic, for example Brothers. These parts mess up your mind but are really fun, I actually wished that the game forced you to do this more. Increasing the difficulty and making it a little bit more engaging. I do understand why they kept this to a limit, this is meant to be a relaxing game. One thing that frustrated me is that some Lumini get stuck in the game world, while this is easily solved by going back a little to pick the cure creature up it still takes you out of the experience.
What we disliked
- Performance is far from perfect: Even on the powerful Xbox One X I still noticed frame rate issues. Some parts of the game run far from perfect, the game even froze for a second or so a couple of times. While this luckily doesn’t result in losing Lumini it is still pretty annoying. The visuals and sound really suck you in like a black hole and performance issues take you out of the “zone” pretty fast.
Falling in love with characters or creatures is what many developers try to accomplish with players, some have success with this. For example, Moon Studios with Ori or Beep Industries with Voodoo Vince but most of the time characters are forgotten when players move over to the next game. Not with Lumini! Speelbaars delivered believable, charming and cute creatures that many will give a place in their hearts. This is truly something special and I hope that it finds a way to many Xbox gamers.