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Handcrafted from start to finish

A fully hand-animated point&click puzzle adventure, brought to life through wordless storytelling, beautiful cinematics and breathtaking original soundtrack. That’s what LUNA The Shadow Dust description says. It surely sounds ambitious and grandiose. Can developer Lantern Studio check all those marks and promise us exceptional gaming experience?

Fly me to the moon

I can’t help myself, when I saw the two main characters, the first thing that came to my mind was Adventure Time’s Finn and Jake. LUNA The Shadow Dust main character (boy) has same kind of white beanie with ears and the little creature (pet) is yellow, chubby and tiny. The game begans mysteriously, as the boy slowly falls down inside a protective sphere, until on the ground he wakes up and the game starts. He has lost his recent memory and what had happened, why he fell? He enters in a peculiar tower and soon founds this little pet, and together they go up the tower room by room and puzzle after another.

As LUNA The Shadow Dust is wordless and without voice acting, everything that happens is visually executed. Murals shows cryptic old stories and pieces of memories comes back to the boy as they proceed. The storytelling was executed nicely and there was no boring or dull moments. I liked how the story comes together in the end and fills all the unanswered questions.

Puzzle me this, puzzle me that

The puzzles were, umm [trying to find correct word in dictionary] fanciful! Using shadows and surroundings together in puzzles was well-made addition to the 2D gameplay. Also both characters were playable, they could do something what other one couldn’t, so utilizing them correctly was important. The puzzles didn’t repeate each other—more of evolved and coming even more out-of-the-box. I only got stuck on one puzzle, but that was just lack my own imagination.

Visually LUNA The Shadow Dust is beautifully hand-drawn and hand-crafted like some Studio Ghibli animation. It’s nice to the eyes and the colour theme is patient. The background music is important in games where player spend a lot of time thinking. Repeating same tune over and over again starts annoy very easily, but in LUNA The Shadow Dust the music is easy and varies a lot. Technically everything were flawless and run perfectly full screen on my over 6-year-old MacBook Air.

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Moon eclipse

The ending speech for LUNA The Shadow Dust is absolutely positive. As a puzzle-lover I am, this totally fed not just my curiosity, but my phantasy. Everything in LUNA The Shadow Dust is thoroughly well-thought and the puzzles are simply brilliantly made, getting interesting room after room. LUNA The Shadow Dust will take a place on every puzzle-lovers’ must-play list. And why not everyone else’s lists.

(Review copy kindly provided by the publisher)

 

SCORE:

5/5

 

“Using shadows and surroundings together in puzzles was well-made addition to the 2D gameplay”

 

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Product not rated  LanternStudio_Logo copy

RELEASE DATE: Feb 13, 2020
GENRE: Point & Click / Puzzle / Adventure
DEVELOPER: Lantern Studio
PUBLISHER: Application Systems, Coconut Island Games
PLATFORMS: PC
Mac (reviewed)
Linux
(Steam, GOG, Humble Store, Mac App Store)

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