Game: Lumote: The Mastermote Chronicles
Genre: Puzzle, Platformer
System: Nintendo Switch (Also on Steam (Windows & macOS) and PS4)
Developer|Publisher: Luminawesome Games | Wired Productions
Age Rating: EU 3+ | US Everyone
Price: US $19.99 | UK £15.99 | EU € 19,99
Release Date: April 21st, 2022
Review code provided with many thanks to Press Engine.
Lumote: The Mastermote Chronicles is a 3D puzzle game where the aim appears to be to colour the world from angry red to relaxing blue. You play as Lumote, a squishy bioluminescent creature that reminded me a lot of those sticky toys you used to throw at a wall as a kid and watch them gradually flop downwards. They would usually end up accumulating a lot of hair and other horrible floor nasties over a few uses. Lumote inhabits a world that doesn’t have those issues. If you’re looking for a new relaxing head-scratcher this game is worth checking out.
In your quest to paint the world neon blue you make your way through a series of puzzles which feel like beautiful cosmic style gardens. You enter an area where you need to activate a series of flowers. You do this by taking control of objects like a small block or jellyfish-like entity and planting it in one of the flower beds. When a flower is activated it also changes things in the level like moving platforms about or a bed of flowers sprouting up so you can access new areas. When all the flowers are activated a larger flower opens allowing you to progress. The colours red and blue play a key part in your success.
When Lumote takes command of something it changes blue but sometimes you want things to be in the red. Sometimes you will need to activate areas blue and then deactivate areas to red in order to navigate the area and access objects. The answers are not always clear and the game doesn’t give you many hints. To begin with I had quite a bit of fun figuring out things for myself, but, I did find the later end of the game required quite a bit of thinking to solve. After walking away for a while the solution might hit me when doing the dishes but sometimes I was just stuck for some time which made the experience a bit boring. However, the slow pace might appeal to gamers looking for a calming gaming experience.
The controls are simple, simply move about jump or double jump and hold a face button to control objects. The only niggle I came across is sometimes the camera would get in the way when you were trying to platform towards hidden gold collectables, these are usually found in awkward corners of the level.
One Big Level
The game feels like you are exploring this unusual alien world, with its squishy protagonist. What stood out to me instantly is that it feels like it plays one massive level with each puzzle segmented off. If you hover over the edge of a platform you can literally see the levels below you. Before you ask you can’t jump down and skip a puzzle you are stuck on. Believe me, I tried. If you take a tumble you restart at the beginning of the area.
Another design choice that stood out is that the Lumote often made cute whistling noises that sounded a lot like the Clangers. An awesome stop motion show I enjoyed as a kid. On TV the overall texture of the game looked a tad blurry which was a bit odd for a first impression. This didn’t seem so noticeable in handheld mode. But other than this small observation the game runs well in both. What I will say about the overall design is it felt very calming to play.
Take a Picture
You’ll likely finish the game in four or five-game sessions the first time around. The game has some in-game achievements most of which are obtained by naturally progressing in the game. But there is one toughie which requires you to finish the game in a very short space of time. There’s also a nice surprise to the gameplay when you to finish the game which I won’t spoil here.
The game also features a photo mode which may appeal to the video game photographers out there. Then there are those gold collectables which are hidden in sneaky spots around the levels. Usually going for these means you tumble off the level and a frustrating restart at the beginning of the puzzle so I often avoided this since it went against the calming experience I was enjoying.
Lumote: The Mastermote Chronicles is a good relaxing puzzler that will appeal to those looking for a new head scratcher to enjoy on the sofa with a warm drink, in bed or in the bath. Just be careful you don’t drop your Switch in there. The slow pace won’t appeal to everyone and hunting for collectables proved more frustrating than fun for me. I enjoyed Lumote the most when I was taking my time solving the puzzles and taking in the calm vibes this game gave off with its cute noises and botanical appearance. If that sounds good to you then go pick it up.
Final Verdict: I Like it