Our latest Quick Reviews have us checking out a pair of platformers that are more than worth your while. Let’s have a look….
Lumi is a stylish platformer from Foundation Games that tasks you with utilizing the power of magnetism to move throughout your world and repel the descending darkness by collecting fireflies and lighting special trees. Lumi is an amorphous yellow creature who moves by sliding your thumb around the left side of your screen. He can also jump a short distance by tapping the screen’s right side, though doing both at the same time is not always successful. (Reversing the controls is also an option.) A series of swirling dots indicates a gravitational force that Lumi can take advantage of by tapping the screen when airborne and within a certain proximity. Once drawn in, you can launch Lumi by dragging backward on his body or the joystick and releasing when aimed in the desired direction. This allows Lumi to reach out-of-the-way areas and collect fireflies. When he has obtained a certain number and he reaches a tree location, he can tap-hold on the tree to transfer the bugs and light a section of the level. Once enough trees are lit, a portal will open and allow Lumi to move to the next area.
In addition to collecting fireflies, there are enemies and environmental objects to avoid that will deplete Lumi’s health. There are even boss battles to challenge our luminous hero. The graphics are quite polished and appealing, utilizing colorful and varied environments and great lighting effects to create environments that feel alive. Animations are smooth and the controls are quite responsive, though it took us a bit of time to get accustomed to the scheme. Once we did, though, it was smooth sailing. The exploration factor is enjoyable and learning the ins and outs of the levels increases replayability. The devs have even promised numerous updates and holiday themes to keep things fresh. This is welcome news as there are only 10 levels at launch, one of the few knocks against the game. GameCenter integration provides over 50 achievements to earn. At a holiday sale price of $0.99 for the iPod/iPhone version (also $0.99 for the iPad-specific version), Lumi is a 4-Dimple offering with a bright future.
Terra Noctis is an impressive new platformer developed by FireFruitForge and published by Bulkypix. You play as Allen, a nightmare with a feline-like appearance who seeks out an ancient tome that may hold the power to make him an object of terror rather than one of cuddly cuteness. There are 30 levels across 4 worlds for Allen to traverse, stomping on enemies and collecting gold coins, red and blue faries, and letters that spell “scare” to earn bonuses and progress farther through the game. Along the way, he obtains several abilities that will help him to survive, in addition to his base abilities to double-jump and butt stomp his way through life. Three stars represent his health, and losing these will send him back to the most recent checkpoint. Through exploration, you’ll uncover secret locations and gain access to bonus areas while seeking out boss battles to test your mettle.
The graphic style is reminiscent of hand-drawn children’s storybooks, and the solid gameplay mechanics makes this one of the better options in the genre. It’s inevitable to make comparisons to Mario, especially given its propensity to rehash many of Mario’s best-known maneuvers. For its part, it bears the torch proudly. Controls are translucent to allow for a nice view of the environments. We found them to be pleasantly responsive, with left/right buttons to control movements, and a jump and stomp button to initiate special moves. By dragging on the screen, you can aim at airborne creatures and hurl projectiles at them, too. The soundtrack is upbeat and catchy, and the music reacts to things like collecting fireflies. Replay value is good, as multiple replays will likely be necessary to obtain all collectible items. Three difficulty levels allow you to tailor the experience to your skill level, and OpenFeint integration provides leaderboards and a couple dozen achievements. A universal offering for $0.99, Terra Noctis is a surprisingly good 4.5-Dimple stud.
Better act quick, as these sale prices won’t last. Let us hear your thoughts in the Comments section below…