Kumo Lumo is a strange, unique style of game with a distinctly Japanese feel to it– the same sort of bizarre creativity which gave us so many classics such as Pac-Man or Katamari Damacy. This makes it all the more surprising to learn that the game is actually not the product of Japanese developers, but rather those from the United Kingdom.
The premise is that you are a storm cloud named Lumo, who has a face straight out of Mario’s world and a surprisingly deep voice. Lumo occupies a world which carries an aesthetic of paper cut-outs and pop-up books, and it is his job to move across the landscape and rain water upon the trees and mounds to create forests and mountains. Along the way, various types of enemies will appear to cause mischief, such as smog clouds and pirate foxes who whip out laser guns to set fire to your carefully cultivated landscape.
Thankfully, dealing with these dangers is as easy as dropping rain… or, if you really want them to feel your wrath, you can call down the lightning and show them who’s boss. Of course, you have to be careful how you manage your resources– your water supply, specifically. Your water meter doubles as your life meter, and running out will cause Lumo to evaporate. This is avoided by ensuring that there are plenty of cloud-generating forests and making sure they’re kept safe from your enemies.
Have a Day.
You can also power up Lumo’s attributes by purchasing power-ups from the shop. You can earn the money for this in-game, but doing so is a slow and tedious process. Lucky for you the designers of this free-to-play game included a way for you to give up just a bit of your hard-earned cash so that you don’t have to deal with such inanity. Wasn’t that nice of them?
Kumo Lumo is quirky, friendly fun, but not without its downsides. While the controls are responsive, they can be slightly cumbersome as well, particularly in situations where you’re attempting to move quickly or are in tight spots. There are two elements to moving around; one is to slide the ground to rotate the planet, which moves Lumo along with it as he remains otherwise static on the screen. The other is to touch and move Lumo himself directly around the area visible on the screen. You can only do one at a time, however, and the need to switch back and forth– especially when in pursuit of particular enemies (such as the aforementioned laser-toting foxes) to drop rain on, or dodging the damage-dealing smog clouds.
Sometimes a cloud just needs to let the fluids flow.
The other issue is that there is a frequent tendency of the stage goals and the requirements to earn stars not to overlap. Stars are awarded for collecting, growing, and destroying things in stages, while the goals will have you collect so many clouds or eliminate so many foxes. The goals are necessary to achieve in order to complete the stage, but doing so before meeting the other requirements for stars means you’re more likely to earn a lower score. The numbers only increase with the level numbers, altogether making for more busywork if you want to achieve a good score. Fortunately, high scores and stars don’t seem necessary for progression, but there isn’t much more going on here if you’re not in it for the score.
Altogether, Kumo Lumo is a fun and enjoyable experience, to say nothing of unique among the App Store’s offerings. It’s a good game, but could perhaps still use a bit more refinement to become a truly great one.