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

Heroine of the Sniper

Heroine of the Sniper

Heroine of the Sniper is a very simple sniper game where you have to guide your little animated heroine through fifteen challenges. Most of these involve shooting at targets from a long range, although there are also a few levels where you get to move around a bit or where you man a machine gun while inside a vehicle. It's not the most polished game on Steam and ends all too soon, but still manages to be quite entertaining while it lasts. Gameplay: The challenges are fun and varied, but the game definitely needed a few more. Graphics: The 2D animated heroine looks nice, but the 3D visuals are fairly simple and levels look very bare. Sound: Unobtrusive music, but the sound effects are pretty good.

Endless Fables: The Minotaur’s Curse

Endless Fables: The Minotaur's Curse

Play as a descendant of Ariadne and prevent the return of the Minotaur in this hidden object puzzle adventure from Sunward Games. The Greek mythology storyline offers a perfect excuse for visiting some exotic locations and while the game is quite easy, it still offers plenty of entertainment. It shares a lot of similarities with the Secret Order series from the same developer, but overall it still has plenty to offer fans. As long as you don’t expect anything groundbreaking from this title, it will provide you with a couple of hours of relaxing entertainment. Gameplay: A solid, Greek mythology themed hidden object puzzle adventure. Graphics: Varied locations featuring detailed visuals. Sound: Good, but not great.

A Good Snowman Is Hard To Build

A Good Snowman Is Hard To Build

A Good Snowman Is Hard To Build is a thoroughly entertaining and very charming puzzle title that is suitable for players of all ages. The beautiful 2D visuals and excellent audio complements the addictive puzzle solving gameplay, which makes for a memorable experience. I would have liked to see a few more puzzles to solve, because the ones on offer are so enjoyable. This is the perfect game for when you feel like something relaxing and non-violent. Gameplay: The game is challenging and addictive without being frustrating or unfair. Graphics: Charming visuals with plenty of great touches. Sound: The soundtrack is great as are the ambient sound effects.

Overdungeon 超载地牢

Overdungeon 超载地牢

Overdungeon is a nice combination of rogue-like elements, card games, and the tower defense genre. With three playable characters and more than 100 cards as well as powerful relics, it is a game that easily sucks you in with its addictive gameplay. The translation quality is a little rough and the game could definitely benefit from a bit more polish, but for sheer, chaotic fun it is hard to beat. Gameplay: The random elements can result in some really over the top battles. Graphics: Decent, but not spectacular. Sound: Not bad.

Concrete Jungle

Concrete Jungle

Concrete Jungle offers an interesting mix of genres that all combine to offer a compelling gameplay experience that is also much more challenging than you would think. In the versus modes, city planning turns into a vicious game of sabotage and dirty tricks, while the solo mode requires players to think ahead in order to survive. Multi-player is unfortunately local only, but even so this game will keep players busy for ages. Gameplay: The game is very addictive and truly a joy to play despite sometimes being as hard as nails. Graphics: When zoomed in the visuals look a bit fuzzy, but overall the amount of detail and variety is top notch. Sound: Great tunes and some surprisingly good voice acting.

Tibetan Quest: Beyond the World’s End

Tibetan Quest: Beyond the World's End

Travel to Shangri-La and find your missing niece in this hidden object game from Brave Giant LTD. It doesn’t have much to offer that is new in terms of gameplay and story, but remains enjoyable throughout. The setting is interesting and the polished visuals as well as atmospheric audio make up for the lack of challenge. Gameplay: Not much of a challenge, but still fun. Graphics: Definitely not a realistic depiction of Tibet, but the visuals are detailed and polished. Sound: Nice music and great sound effects.

Leave a comment

six + 7 =