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For: iPhone

A little on the light side

Product: Lumi | Developer: Foundation Mobile | Publisher: Foundation Mobile | Format: iPhone | Genre: Casual, Puzzle | Players: 1 | Version: Europe | App version: 1.2
Lumi iPhone, thumbnail 1
There’s so much to like about Foundation’s shiny little platformer Lumi that you almost will it to be good.
It’s rare for iOS games to be crafted with this much attention and dutiful care.

From the sumptuous visuals to the swirling orchestral score, it’s clear just how much work has gone into this sedate ride through a flat-planed fantasy world. It's just a shame that that despite all this effort it’s just not that much fun.

Light of your life

You play as the eponymous Lumi, a little blobby light-sprite, who has to navigate the game’s (rather meagre) ten levels, hoovering up fireflies and depositing them onto trees.

Light up a tree with 15 little buzzers and you’ll illuminate a portion of the previously obscured level. Get enough trees glowing and you can nip off to the next world.

It’s simple enough, and the concept of restoring light to a grim land always proves a solid basis for gaming, but unfortunately Lumi’s controls can’t match its spark.

On your hunt for fireflies you move Lumi around using an on-screen analogue stick. It’s fixed to the bottom-left corner of the screen, and it's frustratingly inaccurate, especially for the larger-thumbed gentleman.

A hidden button on the bottom-right lets you jump, too, but most of the time you’ll be sucked into little balls of pollen, which you can then fire yourself out of using the left stick as a kind of catapult.

The theory is good, but the gameplay is cumbersome in practice, and even after you do get the hang of sucking Lumi into position then firing him off it’s just too easy to press 'jump' at the wrong time and fall to your death.

Flo Rida

A game like this should be about the joy of movement – all great platformers are. Instead, Lumi feels like you’re in conflict with your iPhone.

Not a mortal conflict, sure, but a tedious one nonetheless, like trying to get your arm through an inside-out coat sleeve or reaching for a plug socket that’s just too far behind the sofa. You’ll get there if you make a bit of effort, but it should really be a lot easier for what you’re getting in return.

It’s a slight offering, too. The promise of DLC does extend its potential life, but to say you can breeze through it in an afternoon would be an understatement. Unless you’re the type to need every firefly and every Game Center achievement, there’s just not a lot here.

So, for all its strengths, Lumi falls short of its promise as an artsy favourite. It's tolerable, certainly, but it won't light up your life.
Reviewer photo
Jon Denton | 6 February 2012
Lumi has the looks, it has the music, and it has the ideas, but it just doesn’t have the controls to back them up
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Show: Latest | Oldest
Jan 2012
Post count:
LOLavi | 13:37 - 7 February 2012
Are you kidding me?! The controls aren't the best(the shooting sucks, I agree), but it doesn't mean the game is worth a 6! I agree with Matt, last levels are frickin EPIC!
Apr 2011
Post count:
Matt F | 20:06 - 6 February 2012
Even though the controls arent great, Lumi is a treat to play despite its shortness... last levels are EPIC
Apr 2011
Post count:
Matt F | 20:06 - 6 February 2012
Even though the controls arent great, Lumi is a treat to play despite its shortness... last levels are EPIC