I remember playing Lumini back when it originally released on the PC in 2015, and whilst I never got around to finishing it, my initial impressions were good. It just seemed like a relaxing game to play, which when mixed with all of its pretty sights would, be an enjoyable way to spend a few hours completing on a Sunday afternoon. With its release on the Nintendo Switch, I thought it’d be the perfect opportunity to see the adventure through to its conclusion. Unfortunately though, this is one port that needed a little bit more work before releasing, with plenty of issues popping up during my time playing.
The best way to describe Lumini would be as ‘peaceful’, with the gameplay offering very little in the way of a challenge as you guide the titular Lumini on a journey to safety. They work together in a swarm, with different coloured Lumini offering different abilities: the red Lumini can send out a small blast of energy, the yellow Lumini can lure any nearby collectibles to its grasp, whilst the blue Lumini can do a quick dash forward. As your swarm grows you can eventually earn new abilities too, some of which are perfect for getting past the game’s nasties – whilst it is a relaxing experience, there are still some baddies out there to get you.
There are also some basic puzzles for the player to solve, whilst you’re also able to split your swarm in two, typically in order to solve puzzles that require you to activate different switches at the same time to open up new pathways. It’s all simple stuff, but it’s nice and easy-going. Players eager to explore will also find hidden secrets to uncover too, though none are compulsory and didn’t seem to do anything to change up the gameplay either, though they’re still a nice addition for those who want to explore the world a little bit more.
Whilst Lumini is a very pleasant game to play, there’s no denying that some aspects of it dragged on a little bit. There’s not a whole lot of diversity to the gameplay mechanics outside of switching between the Lumini to progress through simple switch puzzles, and you’ll find yourself doing a whole lot of the same things over and over again as you work your way across its linear world. It’s not too long of a game and it only took around three-hours for me to beat it so it doesn’t outstay it’s welcome, but it might not offer enough variety within its gameplay to keep everyone invested in it until the very end.
The biggest issue with Lumini comes with its performance, with both visual and technical glitches present during my time playing. I came across hard crashes, frame rate issues, moments where the game didn’t acknowledge the presence of my Lumini, areas where textures seemingly didn’t load in… if you can think of a flaw, you’ll probably encounter it here. There was even one occasion where the game would constantly crash at the same place, and whilst I did get through it eventually, the process of doing so was undeniably frustrating.
It’s a real shame that it has so many issues, because besides those Lumini is a pleasant enough game to play. Worst of all, I’ve played the game on PC previously and I don’t recall encountering so many problems, so this seems to be something to do with the Nintendo Switch port. It’s disappointing.
At least the visuals are on point (well… when the textures load in), with some of the environment in Lumini making for some really enchanting sights. The music that plays alongside the adventure fits the vibe of the experience perfectly too, whilst the sound design that goes along with it will make you feel like you’re really part of this strange yet charming little world. As far as offering pleasantries is concerned, Lumini really excels – it’s just a shame that it doesn’t always deliver in other areas of its design.
Lumini tries to offer a relaxing adventure where some easy-going puzzles are your biggest concern as you traverse across its attractive world, but unfortunately some slightly repetitive gameplay mechanics and sketchy performance issues can hinder the experience. It’s not that the game is bad – in fact, it can be really charming at times thanks to its peaceful vibe. However, there’s no doubting that It could’ve done with a little bit more work before being released on the Nintendo Switch.
Whilst I have no doubt that Lumini will appeal to plenty of gamers, I’d advise waiting for a patch before giving this pleasant but flawed puzzle-adventure a purchase.
Publisher: 2Awesome Studio
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch (Reviewed), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC