It all starts rather quickly. Üri, the lead character of Luna: The Shadow Dust (a video game that’s not to be puzzled with Luna, Funomena’s 2017 puzzler), a little kid with a hood that makes him appear he’s got bunny ears, falls from a terrific height. After he’s cleaned himself off and gotten his bearings, he finds a big tower, extending all the method into the sky. The job is clear: let’s climb that thing.
And that’s practically all the context you’re provided. Luna likes to keep it easy. All this point and click puzzler is asking you to do is, well, point and click. You ascend the tower one space per level, and in order to do continue, you require to unlock leading out of the space, just like discovering the service to an escape space puzzle. As the kid gets in from one end of the space, it’s constantly a great concept to discover what’s even clickable in order to begin. Some spaces are controlled by big makers, so that you can currently inform there will be buttons to push and levers to press. Trial and mistake is motivated, and figuring options out naturally feels fulfilling.

Sometimes experimentation is all you have, however, considering that Luna is a video game that interacts completely without words. Some of the more complex puzzles have actually visual tips concealed someplace in the space, however considering that even these are sometimes tough to exercise, all you’re entrusted is clicking around till motivation strikes.

To be reasonable, I hardly ever got entirely lost. Most of Luna’s puzzles vary from easy yet sophisticated to maybe a little too simple to resolve, however this is originating from somebody who’s near-exclusively played LucasArts experience video games as a kid, which notoriously include a lot more counterproductive puzzles. Many puzzles in Luna are however classics you will have seen in nearly any video game – can you actually call something a puzzle video game if you do not need to create an image by turning various discs? – however the easy and too easy normally strike a great balance here. A great deal of the simpleness of the puzzles originates from the truth that whatever you require belongs to the space – if you offer yourself a minute to take it all in, you’ll rapidly exercise what’s possible and can begin dealing with the service. To some, the periodic experimentation might end up being discouraging, however I discovered it unusually unwinding to discover a method to advance even without a main eureka minute that turned whatever around.

As with the murals in Journey, I’m sure there’s a story here, I’m simply never ever sure about the specifics.

The spaces that actually stuck to me, nevertheless, included puzzles that were both creative and aesthetically sensational. Early on you get a little furry buddy to assist you with perplexing, and I especially delighted in a space in which you have fun with shadows in order to assist him reach a lever. At the exact same time this puzzle was most likely among the more exasperating, as its success depends upon some quick, accurate clicking and changing in between the kid and the little animal, throughout which the controls would not constantly respond well, requiring me to go through the whole series once again.

There is likewise a puzzle embeded in a cathedral utilizing huge mosaic windows is a terrific example for among Luna’s strengths – I delighted in taking my time to merely take a look at the in-depth environments and admire the sporadic however efficient animations. It’s important to recognise that Luna was probably at no point designed to be a hardcore, brainteasing puzzler. It’s drawn comparisons with Nomada Studio’s GRIS because it’s similarly silent and revolves around beautiful 2D art, however I like Luna better, simply because it allows me to relax. Where GRIS tried hard to make me emotional, Luna shows you a homey, slightly magical time. I didn’t feel compelled to finish the game by an overarching narrative, but simply due to my own curiosity at what the next room would be offer. That isn’t much, but sometimes it’s enough.

Of course, this could simply be a glaring flaw of Luna’s non-verbal storytelling, since I honestly can’t tell you what exactly the game was supposed to be about. Many of its rooms follow the theme of light and shadow, and your overall task seems to be restoring the balance between the two, at least that’s what many puzzles and the ending sequence suggest. While I’m usually particular about gaming narratives where applicable, I don’t think Luna loses any of its charm by not telling an easily graspable story, not only because at around 4 hours, it doesn’t have to be a huge investment, neither of time nor emotion. Instead, what’s essential is how it makes you feel in the moment.

Like Untitled Goose Game or Knights and Bikes, some of last year’s best titles, Luna is one of those short, completely self-contained little experiences you can finish in one sitting and just feel content after. Certainly, it’s not as strong in intent and execution as either of these two examples, however there is something to be said for a game that merely reveals a great deal of heart and handles to make you feel cosy.