Games don’t always have to make sense in terms of narrative or story. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with being a ‘thing’, left to get from ‘here to there’ while solving many puzzles and trying not to die. At times this is all the knowledge you need in order to have a good time. It’s with games of this type in which the world is capable of telling the story visually, without any words, letting your imagination fill in the gaps.
In Lumote: The Mastermote Chronicles you are just a little blob, jumping through a neon world, taking in the pleasure of puzzle solving as you go. And you know what? It’s great.
Lumote is a puzzle platformer that will provide you with a whole bunch of gameplay moments and tons of pleasure over the four hours or so of playtime; depending on how good you are. Like I said at the beginning, the story isn’t at the top of the agenda here and the game just throws you into a neon world without any cutscene or narrative introduction. But there is a narrative – apparently. You see, the great depths is an underground and underwater world filled with motes. These are little bioluminescent creatures, blobs of jellyfish, who are the stars of the game.
You play as Lumote, different from your average Mote, with a keen eye for being the leader of the world. The problem is, the world of the great depths has gone red and your job as Lumote is to turn the world blue again, defeating the Mastermote in charge. This is all fine and rolls off the tongue, but doesn’t have any real impact on the game – it’s the gameplay which is key.
The world you explore is like an underwater neon city, full of huge towering structures that create diverse landscapes for you to explore. All the levels can be viewed from afar and are interlinked, but the journey is linear, taken in one section at a time. You’ll get to view everything by moving the camera, turning it a full 360 degrees as you go on the hunt for all the nooks and crannies that are hidden away. You can traverse these lands thanks to a little jump with Lumote, alongside a double jump. Your task in each section is to turn the area blue and thus open a gateway to progress onwards.
You open these doorways by possessing certain organic pathways in each area. There might be one you can turn blue, or there might be three or more. You can change the way the underwater fauna responds by jumping on it, interacting with triggers to make platforms easier to jump onto. One of the big ideas that allows this to happen is the ability to possess a Mote by jumping on top of it and then being able to move it to activate a trigger point.
The problem with this is that the Mote can’t jump like you, or move up platforms without the journey forwards being a flat surface. You do this by controlling the environment or activating triggers or moving platforms. This is where the puzzle elements of Lumote: The Mastermote Chronicles come into play as each of the levels provides a great challenge; satisfyingly brain-teasing enough to get through. It’s a relaxing game to play, but rewarding and full of great puzzle solving.
My only critique is that at times the camera can be a bit of a pain, whilst if you die by falling off structures, then are left to work from the start of the level again; that is a bit frustrating. Apart from that, it’s a joy to play throughout.
With the neon world, Lumote: The Mastermote Chronicles is delivered with a wonderful visual style full of bioluminescent use of beautiful colours. It’s a great design and a pleasant place to spend some time in. The level design is clever too, whilst the creature design is lovely. The soundtrack helps too, providing a smooth electronic groove that helps with puzzle solving and world-building.
Lumote: The Mastermote Chronicles is a beautiful puzzler that you will thoroughly enjoy. The simplicity of the gameplay makes this a joy to jump into, even if the camera does have a few issues and it’s a pain to have to restart stages when you die. But the rest of the time, the wonderful world and ever-increasing challenge ensures that Lumote: The Mastermote Chronicles is a unique experience that is well worth taking in.
Lumote: The Mastermote Chronicles is on the Xbox Store
- Great world
- Superb puzzles
- Lovely visuals
- The camera does get a bit annoying
- Restarts are not particularly welcome
- Massive thanks for the free copy of the game go to - Wired Productions
- Formats - Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PS4, PS5, Switch, PC
- Version reviewed - Xbox One on Xbox Series X
- Release date - 21 April 2022
- Launch price from - £16.74