Need to know

What is it? A puzzle adventure about a boy exploring a dark tower with his cat companion
Expect to pay $23/£17
Developer Lantern Studio
Publisher Coconut Island Games
Multiplayer? No
Link Official site

Hand-drawn animation has been making a resurgence in games recently and it’s a more than welcome feature. There’s something intimate and charming about 2D hand-drawn animation style and LUNA The Shadow Dust‘s artwork is a visual feast for the eyes. Its world invited me in and, for the most part, I was completely enchanted. But unfortunately, as much as LUNA looks amazing, there were moments where I felt lost in its puzzling world. 

LUNA The Shadow Dust begins with a nameless boy falling from the sky. He drops like a stone through the air but, before crashing into the earth, is saved by a magical force that conjures a bubble around him, gently laying him on the ground. After he awakens he finds a rickety tower and, with his magical cat friend, begins to make his way through the rooms to get to the top. There’s no text or dialogue to explain the story—it’s all a bit mysterious. How high the tower is or what’s at the top is not made clear, but LUNA’s atmosphere and visuals proved more than enough to entice me inside the looming fortress.

LUNA The Shadow Dust

(Image credit: Lantern Studio)

As you explore the tower, each room is beautifully crafted from the get-go. The first room you enter is the hallway where a huge intricate mural depicting ancient lore decorates the wall. As you walk past it, colour begins to bleed into the images, like you’re waking the tower from a deep slumber. The legends of this world are etched into every corner and open surface. The cosy kitchen, huge library, and flamboyant music room are all bursting with detail that made me look forward to what other rooms and secrets were hidden away.

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