iPhone Game Review: Luma

by: Tina -
Disney’s Luma is a cute puzzler complete with decent controls and a colorful game design.

The iPhone/iPod Touch game reminds me of one really long, really in-depth BioWare-esque puzzle. It consists of rearranging circular nodes to direct a line of light from the starting point to the ending point. Each node contains a line symbol that shows where the light will be directed. Some are simple “one point to another” shapes, while others might direct the light in three different branches. You wont gain access to nodes further away from your starting point until you’ve tracked your length of light closer to them. This adds to the challenge of the game.

Further along in the puzzler, you’ll also find similar nodes with the addition of a color code. Some ending points will indicate what color will be necessary to complete the puzzle. This might need to be accomplished by combining colors, so I hope you remember your ROYGBIV color scheme from art class.

There are also obstacles in some of the 30 levels you’ll encounter in Luma. These will restart your rearrangement work if the light is passed through them, so be careful where you point.

Given these bits of gameplay, Luma is quite well rounded without feeling too forced. The controls that compliment gameplay aren’t the most comfortable aspect of the game, but they do the job. A slider on the left hand side of your game screen will turn and angle the node that you’ve selected to rearrange. The control is intuitive in the sense that sliding up and down will give a corresponding movement in your node, but there is a limit to how high or low the slider will go – essentially turning your node 360 degrees. This makes messing around with your node a bit of a hassle because of the lag in having to restart the slider.

This isn’t too much of a problem, though, until you get to Survival mode after completing all 30 levels. Then you might have some complaints about the half a second you missed because of the damn slider. Survival mode is interesting in that you trek through a series of levels in succession under a time constraint that increase in difficulty. Starting at a level at your leisure is no option; the game will start you at level 1 and determine what time you have on the next level to complete your goal. Fortunately, you have some lifelines at your disposal. You can reset the clock, clear out unnecessary nodes, or take a quick glance at the correct path needed to complete the level.

Luma is a relaxing puzzler that requires good planning and, sometimes, quick thinking. I generally don’t get addicted to puzzler games (except Sudoku, of course) but this puzzler kept my interest because it felt challenging in a healthy and smart way. Completing the path between nodes feels like an accomplishment instead of a relief, which sometimes becomes interchangeable in puzzler games.

Luma: $0.99

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