A Retro Gamer’s Review of LUMO on the Nintendo Switch

Hang on, this isn’t an old game on an old system. What am I doing reviewing a game on a current gen console?

That is an easy one to answer – I am definitely a sucker for anything that has references to the 80s, especially video games. My expectations were high of Lumo on the Switch, and right now, I can safely say that the game has exceeded my expectation by a long shot!

Screeeeeeeech, the load screen takes us back to 1985!

As soon as I started Lumo it grabbed me by the scruff of the neck and injected its nostalgia with its screeching and decompressing loading screen, just like my C64. Once I got to the menu to select the type of game I wanted to play, of course I opted for the old school ‘3 lives and you are dead’ option. Perhaps my retro tinted glasses totally missed the option to play the game with infinite lives or perhaps I am just a sucker for punishment.

Playin’ it old school!

When you begin playing Lumo, the immersion of being in the game is immediate, from your character walking through a room full of micros and arcade machines (hello 1980s!), to then being zapped ‘inside the game’!

Looks like our monthly Amiga Users Group meet-up!

Had to stop and admire the view

If you haven’t figured it out by looking at the screenshots, Lumo is an isometric platform puzzle adventure game in the mould of Ocean’s Head Over Heels and Ultimate Play The Game’s Knight Lore from 1984 – a great pedigree indeed. Don’t be lulled into thinking that Lumo is a reskinned Head Over Heels or Knight Lore – it isn’t. It stands on it’s own, with great and absorbing level design that makes you want to explore and see what’s behind each door. The control mechanics fit the Switch Joy-Cons like a glove – it literally becomes second nature the minute you start playing the game! The aural and visual extravaganza also had me smiling from ear to ear – this game looks and sounds ace!

Zap! That Speccy is dangerous!

Well the fun really starts once you start exploring rooms and completing puzzles. Did we mention that there are 400 rooms to complete? Wellllll, I guess Lumo will provide the longevity required to keep coming back to it, especially when played like it’s 1985 (3 lives and you are a goner!). I haven’t played Lumo on other platforms so it is hard to compare, but what I can tell you is that it plays beautifully on the Switch, either docked or handheld. Lumo is a challenging, rewarding and magical experience that is truly a love letter to the golden age of exploration adventure video games. If you haven’t already got Lumo, then I would highly recommend you hit the Nintendo eShop and get it quick-smart!

Take a bow Gareth Noyce, you’ve got me hook, line and sinker with your beautiful Lumo!

Lumo (digital) is available now in the Nintendo eShop store. The physical edition (AUD$69.95) will be released tomorrow (November 24)!


Lumo game and images were supplied for review by Rising Star Games