Developer: Henry Kim
Price: $0.99
Version: 1.2.1
App Reviewed on: iPhone 3GS
Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
User Interface Rating: ★★★½☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★½☆
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

I like to think that I’ve messed around with my fair share of iOS running games, but that doesn’t mean I can’t stumble upon something I haven’t quite seen before. Enter Lumigon, a not exactly “endless” runner with a story and absolutely no jumping whatsoever. And it works surprisingly well, all things considered.

Lumigon tells the story (yes, it actually tells a story) about a little girl named Pina who accidentally gets herself trapped in the dark and spooky world of Vanster. As luck would have it she also accidentally meets up with a fairly luminous dragon-like creature named Purumi, and together they set out to fix Vanster’s shattered moon. Yeah, I know. The story wordlessly plays out over several environments, each with their own enemies to avoid although they all basically equate to immobile obstacles. Players must guide the constantly running duo through a series of dimly lit gauntlets of enemies and Lunas by tilting their device up and down to drift between unmarked lanes. Smacking into an enemy without protection means an end to the run, but by grabbing the aforementioned Lunas littered along the path it’s possible to cover the little blue dragon guy with a shield, get him spitting fire, and even empower him to eat any enemies that get in his way.

What’s interesting about Lumigon is that none of the story levels are endless. There are definitive beginnings and endings, and the actual goal is to finish in one piece while snagging as many Lunas as possible along the way. It’s a nice change to the typical endless formula and makes it feel a bit less aimless. However there’s also a Survival mode that tasks players with seeing just how far they can get while comparing scores to the friends that is very capable of filling that gap. And let me just say that the majority of the special abilities and power-ups (i.e. flame breath, “special” form, etc) are fantastically over the top.

And yet I find myself having problems with the controls. Even with the notation in the loading screen that mentions practice and a gentle but deliberate touch is needed, they still feel a little too sensitive. I’ve actually started actively seeking the ball and chain “power-downs” because the slightly slower movement feels a lot more comfortable. This wouldn’t be all that bad if it weren’t for the way Purumi needs to be precisely lined up with a Luna to snap it up.

Lumigon isn’t what I’d consider an absolute must have – except possibly for runner junkies – but it’s a fun and worthwhile game that does things a little differently. Assuming people enjoy constant motion and dodging obstacles with a healthy dose of cute they should find plenty to enjoy.


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