Lumote is an upcoming puzzle-platformer by Luminawesome Games. The game comes out later this week, and the developers were kind enough to send us a beta preview build to try the game out. Here are my early impressions after around two hours of play.
In the game, players control Lumote, a cute and squishy bioluminescent creature on a quest to overthrow the Mastermote. You’ll accomplish this task by solving puzzles, gradually turning the world from red to blue so you can descend further and reach the Mastermote’s core.
Lumote‘s gorgeous, bioluminescent world is one continuous level broken down into segments that contain a series of puzzles. You can even see future puzzles below you in the distance, and the game only has loading screens once you clear a section and take an elevator to the next layer of the world.
Despite this continuous world, the game is remarkably well optimized, even in this early beta build. The game stayed consistently at 60 FPS on my machine, without a single noticeable drop in performance in several hours of play.
Lumote‘s aesthetic is definitely its biggest strength. The world is full of strobing, luminescent lights, and changing the environment’s colors form the basis of the game’s puzzle mechanics.
Each puzzle area starts red, and your goal is to use the strange creatures in Lumote’s world to change it blue. You’ll notice glowing power lines throughout the floors and walls that lead to a tree, which is the locking mechanism that blocks off the door to the next area.
These power lines are controlled by switches on the floor, and every puzzle in the game revolves around trying to get something to that switch to activate it, changing the power lines from red to blue.
The possession mechanic essentially boils down to jumping on a creature, which allows you to gain control of it, and move it around the area. The most common creature in the game are these box-like gelatinous squares that are most often used to activate the puzzle’s switches. How you get to these creatures, and then how you get them to the switches, are the foundation of Lumote‘s puzzles.
The full game promises around 50 puzzles, and so far the difficulty curve has been fairly steady and well-crafted. New mechanics and creature types are added at a nice pace, and the game does a good job of letting you tinker with mechanics before ramping up the difficulty. So far at least, I have yet to encounter a puzzle that was overly complicated or too difficult to figure out.
The soundtrack and audio help reinforce the game’s chill atmosphere. The music is rather relaxing, and the various creatures you encounter will all greet you with excited chirps and squeaks. The game doesn’t have any spoken dialog, though Lumote will make different noises, and vaguely word-like phrases as you complete puzzles, reach new areas, or simply sit idle for too long.
While the beta is fairly stable, I have encountered a decent number of glitches. Sometimes the box creatures you need to possess spawn in odd places that don’t seem like they are meant to be there. One puzzle I encountered in particular seems to be bugged, with the box spawning as shown above.
Luckily, you can get creatures to respawn where they are meant to be by throwing them off a cliff. Unfortunately, the conditions that cause a creature to “die” and respawn seem a bit bugged as well, because I’ve had a few instances where it happened seemingly at random while stacking creatures on top of each other to move them.
That isn’t a case of me solving a puzzle through janky means either, because some puzzles are clearly based around stacking creatures to make use of their unique abilities, like using a flying jellyfish to carry a creature to a higher elevation.
Lumote is shaping up to be a relaxing puzzle game with light platforming elements. The game doesn’t seem like it will get too difficult based on my first few hours of play, but will nonetheless offer a nice selection of clever puzzles in a gorgeous world. We’ll be back once the game is out to give it a full review.
Lumote launches February 20th on Windows PC via Steam.
Lumote was previewed on Windows PC using a preview copy provided by Luminawesome Games. You can find additional information about Niche Gamer’s review/ethics policy here.