EGX 2015 Hands On – Lumo

There was a heavy emphasis on the ‘indie’ megabooth at this year’s EGX. Named the ‘Rezzed Zone’ it was a bustling array of stalls boasting all types of games imaginable, everything from VR games to student ventures seeking attention for their most personal projects.

During a chat with Tyrone Walcott, the PR Manager of Rising Star Games, a publisher now well known for showing the smaller titles on Steam or console, I was introduced to Lumo. I was immediately assured that this was not an indie game, this was the work of Gareth Noyce under the quirky Developer name ‘Triple Eh?’. Noyce has a broad spectrum of experience in Videogames, working on titles including Crackdown 2, Too Human, and Fable 2, though Lumo is a much more personal project, one that clearly shows a lot of thought and attention.

Upon first looking at Lumo I was immediately reminded of 1987’s ‘Head Over Heels’ for the ZX Spectrum. I was told that this was an accurate assumption as Lumo is heavily inspired by the likes of ‘Head Over Heels’, ‘Chimera’, ‘Nebulus’, ‘Qbert’ and others of that era of gaming. Lumo is an isometric arcade adventure game, where you explore rooms, search for secrets and solve physical puzzles.

rsz_lumo2

Before playing the demo for myself I had the chance to watch as others played the game, and I was able to see the distinct difference between those that were immediately familiar with the games style, and those who struggled at first. To compensate for this when you begin the demo you can choose your control style, played with an xbox control pad the typical choice is the usual up is up, left is left, etc. Whereas the traditional control scheme for this style of isometric game means up moves the character diagonally up-right, and down moves down-left on a diamond like axis. This can be tricky to use at first but those retro purists will feel right at home.

head over heelsrsz_lumo_3

After getting to grips with the controls, you move the child-wizard protagonist through varying rooms finding keys to locked doors, tools to complete puzzles and spells to give your character more abilities such as jumping and moving boxes. Although the camera doesn’t move with you, going between rooms never feels confusing, with only the short time I had with the demo if I were to replay it now I’d know the map by heart.

Collectibles and Easter Eggs are strewn among the levels that reward those who have the experience with the retro titles Lumo gains its inspiration from. For example all rooms that have a certain feature (I won’t give it away) have a hidden cassette tape collectible, another nod to when gaming used cassette tapes to store game data. Easter Eggs are very present to give a nod to publishers and games, the boxes say ‘Rare’ goods,a nod to the famous British developer and a later section involves an elevator to a room clearly inspired by 1985’s Chimera.

This game is a love letter to the past, to the origins of gaming, one that doesn’t try to evolve the genre but replicates the brilliance that it had for that generation, the love for that era of gaming was featured in every element of Lumo that I saw. With the retro style gameplay coupled with modern beautiful visuals, Lumo seems like an incredibly strong game with a lot to offer both for retro veterans and newbies alike.

Lumo will release on Steam, PS4, PSVITA, Wii U and Xbox One.

 

 

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About Jareth Anstey
Currently living in a tiny Village in North Yorkshire with the Missus and our two cats, Knuckles and Snape. I've been into gaming ever since having to decide between the Sega Mega Drive or a SNES at age two, (Sonic won me over in the end) and I'm a collector of all things Zelda. Mistook my adoration of Videogames and ended up doing a Bachelors in Film production, then ended up living in America for a short while and then Vancouver, Canada for 2 years. Now I'm back home, living in the middle of no-where ready to live the dream and write about Video games!