Lums: A game of light and shadows on Apple TV
A physics-mechanic strategy puzzler of light and shadows to rid the Lums world of alien vampires.
Lums vs Vampires
One fateful day, the Lums world is invaded by alien vampires hauling a sunlight blocking asteroid. Subsequently they start getting comfortable. The Lums– floating elemental spheres–must retake their world by exposing the vampires to beacons of light. The invaders however have concealed themselves in shadowy hideouts which need to be destroyed to make way for the light. Unfortunately the dark lairs are tricky affairs requiring spot-on strategy to uncover. But There’s more at stake, as exposing them means deadly sacrifice for the little guys. Now the 5 Lums species must join forces and use perfect tactics to rid the planet of the vampiric interlopers.
In the Lumlight
Lums is a puzzler with a plan using a physics-mechanic to execute it. The plan must be plotted carefully with the various species’ powers to uncover and fry the vampires. Levels present one scene and puzzle scenario with concealed vamps to burn and 3 stars to collect. Luckily the makeshift hideouts are made of wood, stone and glass–the Lums elements. Cannonball Lum can smash through structures. Antigravity Lum sends things flying. Light Lum turns into a spotlight. Transparent Lum transforms stuff into glass and Stone Lum creates stone. Different combinations of the little guys are available per level to execute the plan… and the vamps. Every move however makes martyrs of the spherical heroes as they fizzle into history. Varying vampire cleansing missions present new features like lasers, light-bombs and shields as well as more complicated logistical puzzles. If all else fails, well, the Lums have nukes too!
Prague based Vladmir Hrincar of Hyperbolic Magnetism, the Lums developers, created a game calling for careful forethought and precision. Gameplay is easy going subtle action with a pleasantly zen atmosphere. Graphics are appropriately somber yet colorful and detailed with beautiful light & shadow generation. It’s obvious how much cooler play is on big-screen with Apple TV. Oh, and the simple Siri thumb-slide controls are nicely intuitive. The hovering action physics mechanics function fluidly and the gravity-effect physics when structures are toppled and destroyed are simply awesome. A mellow, apocalyptic soundtrack plays between levels with cool rain sounds and tumbling structure sound fx during level play. Lums has a lot going for it–even though it is a “veteran” in the game-o-sphere from 2013. Nonetheless, the 2016 update (including tvOS release) upped the levels to 68 and added a cool comic story sequence among other things.
Lumming it up
Even though Lums is not super difficult, it was a worthy challenge to consistently destroy all vampires and collect the 3 stars. Actually it’s quite addictive and I found myself returning to some levels to nab a star I might have missed. There are also a load of fun Game Center achievements to make you a super Lum. Above all, pondering the logic and executing the vamp destruction with success made for a sometimes frustrating but entertaining alien vamp barbecue. And what a huge moral mission: Sacrificing the few Lums to save the many.
Then again, there’s always the nukes!