LUNA The Shadow Dust
Gameplay 8
Graphics 9
Sound 9

Help a young boy and his cute cat-like companion reach the top of a mysterious tower in this beautiful point & click adventure by Lantern Studio. Luna The Shadow Dust features gorgeous hand-drawn artwork and a beautiful soundtrack to complement the brainteasers. It’s not a very lengthy game, but controlling two different characters makes for enjoyable puzzle solving. The lack of dialog and inventory may disappoint fans of more traditional point & click adventures, everyone else will have fun with this title.

Gameplay: Tricky in spots, but nothing that can’t be solved by paying attention to your surroundings.

Graphics: The hand-drawn visual style of the game is simply beautiful.

Sound: No voice-acting, but the soundtrack is excellent

Summary 8.7 Outstanding
Gameplay 0
Graphics 0
Sound 0
Summary rating from user's marks. You can set own marks for this article - just click on stars above and press "Accept".
Accept
Summary 0.0 Terrible

LUNA The Shadow Dust

Developer: Lantern Studio | Publisher: Coconut Island Games, Application Systems Heidelberg | Release Date: 2020 | Genre: Indie/ Point & Click Adventure / Puzzle | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Steam

Luna The Shadow Dust is a charming point and click adventure that features a young boy and his adorable cat-like companion making their way up a mysterious tower. The developers have opted for “wordless storytelling” with this game, but it is clear that something has gone wrong and the boy must reach the top of the tower to set things right. While the lack of dialog might frustrate some players, it definitely preserves the magical and mysterious atmosphere of the game.

Starting at the bottom of the tower, it is your task to guide the two unique characters as they make their way upwards, room by room. Initially, you are only in control of the boy, but he is soon joined by a cute, round cat-like creature. The cat isn’t capable of operating machinery like the boy, but it is still an invaluable help when it comes to solving the puzzles. Its small stature and ability to reach spots that are inaccessible to the boy means you’ll frequently need to split the two up to overcome obstacles. Veteran point & click adventure fans who still remember the Gobliiins series by Coktel Vision should be familiar with this style of puzzle-solving. However, Luna is a lot more streamlined and simplified compared to the classic point & click adventure games.

The game features a very uncluttered user interface, which allows players to really soak in the atmosphere and appreciate the detailed visuals. Not only is everything meticulously detailed, but all of the visuals are hand-animated too. Lantern Studio managed to cram in more than 250 animations and it shows. The art style of Luna has a bit of a Studio Ghibli feel, but at the same time, the game also has its own unique style. Although you make your way through plenty of rather mundane locations, such as a kitchen, garden, library and music room, the art style ensures that it never feels boring. It’s the small details, such as the fact that the game has its own alphabet and there are plenty of wall murals in the background depicting the history of the game world, which really makes it feel alive. Also, there is a lot of gorgeous cinematics that drive the story forward without the need for words.

Most of the adventure takes place inside the mysterious tower, but there are also a few sections where players get to explore some outside locations. These sections are equally as fascinating and we would love to see future titles from Lantern Studio that is set in this world. The puzzles in Luna start out fairly simple, but the higher up you go in the tower the more complex they became. Your goal is always the same, which is to unlock the door that will allow you to access the next section of the tower.

Thankfully each new section is self-contained, so you never need to worry about backtracking down the tower in case you missed something. Luna also foregoes point & click staples, such as an inventory or list of actions that you can perform. Instead, everything you need to solve a puzzle is usually nearby and only requires you to push buttons, flip switches, activate contraptions or push and pull things. The cat critter also has a neat shadow form that is required for some puzzles and you even get to manipulate time as well as seasons in some sections of the tower. There’s no way to do something wrong or get into serious trouble, so you are free to take your time with the game.

While the interface is very straightforward, the puzzle will leave some players scratching their heads. There are always plenty of clues to point you in the right direction, but you need to pay attention to your surroundings. Initially, your two characters stick quite close together, but towards the end of the game, you often have to send them to separate rooms to manipulate items. We were stumped a few times, but managed to progress through the game without pulling out too much of our hair and cracking the puzzles is immensely satisfying.

The soundtrack of Luna The Shadow Dust is a perfect match for the gorgeous visuals and delivers soothing sounds during the puzzle sections while ramping up during the cinematics. Some of our favorite tracks include the clock-like beat of “Light and Dark” and the choir-like sounds of “The Time Traveler.” The game does not feature any type of voice-acting and the sound effects are also rather subdued, but once again it fits the style of Luna.

Anyone expecting a traditional point & click adventure might be a bit disappointed as it does not feature any type of inventory, item gathering or talking to non-player characters. There is also not a million different things to click on to see what funny reaction or response your characters give. Instead, you have a very streamlined adventure that feels more like an escape room puzzle set inside a mysterious tower. Your mouse pointer changes as soon as it is over something that you can interact with, but as far as we could gather there is no way to highlight all the hotspots in a room. If we had to nitpick even further, the slow walking speed of the characters could be an annoyance for more impatient players. However, there is really not much else that we can fault about Luna The Shadow Dust and we thoroughly enjoyed the five or so odd hours that it took us to reach the top of the tower.

If you are a fan of point & click adventures and don’t mind giving your brain a bit of a workout, then you’ll love Luna The Shadow Dust. We also highly recommend grabbing the beautiful art book that is sold separately. It is filled with 124 pages of original artwork, hand-drawn sketches as well as plenty of neat insights about the creation of the game.

System Requirements

  • OS: Windows 7, Windows 8, 8.1, Windows 10
  • Processor: Intel core i5 2557M
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: GeForce GT440 or HD5570
  • Storage: 1 GB available space
  • OS: Mac OS X 10.9+
  • Processor: 1.2 GHz
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: 1024MB VRAM, Metal/OpenGL 3.2
  • Storage: 1 GB available space
  • OS: Ubuntu 16.04+, SteamOS+
  • Processor: 1.2 GHz
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: 1024MB VRAM, OpenGL 3.2
  • Storage: 1 GB available space

Related posts

Poltergeist: A Pixelated Horror

Poltergeist: A Pixelated Horror

For some challenging puzzle based gameplay with a spooky twist look no further than Poltergeist: A Pixelated Horror. The game features charming visuals, an appropriately spooky soundtrack and plenty of puzzles that will have you racking your brain for the solution. The pixelated visuals are not exactly cutting edge, but the addictive gameplay makes the game hard to put down. Overall, it is quite an impressive offering from a very small studio and is definitely worth checking out. Gameplay: Use your puzzle solving skills and supernatural powers to scare some pesky people out of your haunted house. Graphics: Features an interesting blend of 2D sprites and 3D objects, all with a pixel art twist. Gameplay: Spooky tunes and plenty of screams.

Mushihimesama

Mushihimesama

Mushihimesama is showing its age a bit, but the stellar gameplay is as good as always. The game is a bullet hell shooter, so expect a tough as nails challenge, but it is always fair and remains addictive throughout. Although it only features five levels, the multitude of modes and difficulties ensures that there is plenty of value for money. An online co-op mode would have been nice, but even with just the local co-op it remains a blast. If you are a fan of the genre don’t hesitate to pick it up, but novices beware, Mushihimesama packs a mean challenge. Gameplay: The game doesn’t show any mercy, but practice pays off. Graphics: Definitely not state of the art, but still charming despite the age of the game. Sound: The soundtrack is great, but the sound effects could have benefited from a bit more oomph.

Horizon

Horizon

If you are new to the genre Horizon can look pretty complicated at first glance. This is one of those titles where playing the tutorial and checking out the manual is not optional, but essential if you want to get the most out of the game. It doesn't quite reach the heights of genre classics, but there is a lot to like and it remains addictive throughout. Gameplay: Appears daunting at first, but becomes more intuitive with extended play. Graphics: There are some nice visual elements mixed in with all the stats and charts. Sound: Atmospheric enough to suit the theme of the game.

JYDGE

JYDGE

A robotic cop that acts as judge, jury and executioner? It might not be the most original idea, but JYDGE from 10tons Ltd certainly offers a lot of fun. It is a top down shooter with tons of customization options for your character as well as weapon. This means that it caters to a variety of playing styles and offers a lot of replay value, despite the relatively small number of levels. If you are a fan of the genre or simply enjoy games that allow you to experiment with how you approach objectives you’ll have a blast with JYDGE. Gamepaly: Action packed and lots of fun. Graphics: Perhaps a little too similar to Neon Chrome, but it still looks good. Sound: The soundtrack is great and the sound effects very impressive.

Cloudrift

Cloudrift

Thanks to its psychedelic visuals, great soundtrack and addictive gameplay we have no qualms recommending Cloudrift. Chasing your next high score is a thrill, whether you play alone or as a team, but it is the versus mode that will keep you coming back for more. Anyone looking for a game that is easy to get into, but hard to stop playing should not miss out on Cloudrift Gameplay: Simple to understand, but with enough variables to keep things interesting and addictive. Graphics: Colorful and hypnotic. Sound: The tunes are easy on the ears and never becomes repetitive.

Pinball FX3 – Universal Classics™ Pinball

Pinball FX3 - Universal Classics™ Pinball

With tables based around Back to The Future, Jaws and E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, the Universal Classics Pinball pack is a must have for fans of the genre. All three of the tables on offer look great and are a lot of fun to play. The table designers have done an admirable job with fusing these licenses with pinball instead of simply using images based on the films. Unfortunately, none of the tables feature licensed music, which is really a pity for films like these that has such iconic soundtracks. However, apart from the music there is very little to fault here and these tables offer a nice break from all the Marvel and Star Wars tables available for the platform. Gameplay: Three tables with great designs that are a lot of fun to play. Graphics: Each table features plenty of visual elements from the films as well as some great looking 3D models. Sound: The sound effects and voice acting are decent enough, but the lack of licensed music is a bummer.

Leave a comment

9 + eleven =