The indie game developer, Phosphor Games Studios, released The Path to Luma in 2015, but I just got around to playing it.
This is a puzzle game that is intertwined with a story which holds a good motive. 23 planets are left polluted and must be restored with the use of clean energy. Each planet is a new level with unique color schemes, landscapes, and climates. Our character, Sustainability Augmentation Model (SAM), must solve the issue of pollution on each level by using relevant resources.
Different environments require different methods of clean energy like using a wind turbine or solar power. Each planet is more challenging than the one before with either a new energy source or maze-like combinations of clean energy. The main objective is to help the Chroma civilization reach Luma, which is not actually a place, but rather a belief.
Simplicity is held in all aspects of the game. The only mechanic in the game is tapping on objects or on the land in order to move SAM. Although, I would recommend not spinning the planet around a lot since it can be a bit dizzying. Additionally, the music is calm which compliments the overall relaxing tone of the game. There is also a sense of playfulness in the low-poly design, making it visually appealing through the emphasis on colors and lack of detail. Not to mention, the burst of color that blooms on the planets after restoring it to its glory made me smile every time.
Even though you are caring for the environment in a game, it shows how beautiful a planet can be if resources are used properly. With motivational quotes throughout the game in the form of small cutscenes, it makes you remember that Earth needs help too. I appreciate that Path of Luma can highlight an important subject in an entertaining way.
The Path of Luma felt different from other mobile puzzle games because SAM was directed by an NPC. This NPC relayed messages at the bottom of my screen which gave the feeling that our character was on a super important mission. This idea of being on a clean energy mission initiated by the Chroma civilization would have seemed unclear had there not been that NPC. However, with no definitive end, the game has a story but the plot falls flat towards the end which upset me. However, the game’s main role is to be a thought-provoking puzzle and The Path to Luma fit that role well.
The Path of Luma is a skillfully-constructed mobile game with a charming story. Despite being short, it delivers a fun experience. The best part is that when basking in the calmness of the game, there is absolutely no disturbance from ads! The game can be downloaded from the App Store, Google Play, and Amazon for free.