NIhilumbra, by Beautifun Games, starts with an eerie, beautiful introduction that clearly states, "This is not a game."
The story is rather vague and abstract from the beginning. You are a piece of the Void, and when you escape into the real world, the Void comes after you, creating various forms of creatures to bring you back.
The Abstract concept however doesn't get in the way of gameplay. This is because the tutorial is well constructed and placed: in the first few levels the tutorial appears as text in the environments as you move through levels, along with story tidbits to really immerse you in the game.
As you advance in levels, the game then teaches you the main aspects of playing, such as using colors to draw on the levels and change the environment to solve puzzles, defend yourself against enemies and get through levels. For example, Green allows you to make the terrain elastic which allows you to bounce to higher grounds, Blue allows you to freeze the ground and make you or things slide along the ground faster, et cetera. Levels are divided into worlds with different environments as you progress, and you learn new colors in each new world.
The pace of the gameplay is well designed as well. Things start out slow and simple at first, but the difficulty will quickly increase to after the first few worlds. The story is so simple, but it's rather compelling, and the way it's executed through text appearing in the backgrounds adds to the game's atmosphere.
Also, once you complete the game, you unlock Void mode, which makes the game even more challenging by adding more puzzles.
Controls are as simple as a d-pad for moving left and right and a button to jump. Of course, you can use your finger to simply draw colors on those levels that require them.
Graphics & Sound
The art style in Nihilumbra is melancholic and dark, but it totally fits the atmosphere and the story, helping to immerse you into the game's universe. The watercolor style graphics give each background a mood and you can't help but to stop and enjoy the scenery.
The same applies to the music and sounds, which are eerie and dark, but again, it only aids in enhancing the game's style.
Nihilumbra is a game that captures you not only with its visual style and storytelling, but also by its unique combination of puzzle platforming and line-drawing gameplay. The game starts off slow, but eventually picks up in difficulty, making it a solid game for casual gamers and hardcore gamers alike. Definitely a must-have if you are a platformer fan looking for something different and interesting.
Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):
Graphics: -4.5- Ominous yet beautiful graphics really enhance the game's story and gameplay. Sound: -4- Solid music and sound effect also aid in the game's atmosphere. Controls: -4.5- This game features solid touch controls with a unique twist on your average platformer. Gameplay: -4.5- A solid, unique puzzle platformer with a simple, yet immersive story and great visuals. Must-have for any platforming fan.
Playing Hints and Tips:
Always think outside the box when it comes to using colors to trap enemies, or getting to hard to reach places.