Judging books by their covers is terrible. That's something we're taught as soon as we're competent enough to start having opinions. It's what's inside that counts.

But more often than not judging is exactly what we do. We take one glance at a product and start to make assumptions. We're usually right, as well.

Lume looks like a twee, charming little game - something that might tax your brain but not your reaction times. And that's exactly what it is.

Point and tap

You play as the titular Lume, a sweet-natured little girl who's visiting her grandfather in the woods. But when she gets arrives there's no sign of him, and all of the power's off. It's your job to reconnect the house to the grid and find out where the old man's wandered off to.

Tapping on the screen moves Lume around, and also lets you interact with the objects you need to manipulate to progress. Exploration is punctuated with puzzles and riddles that need to be solved in a variety of different ways.

Sometimes you might need to find the right keys in a bunch, or reconnect a jumbled piece of wiring. Other times you're combining objects to create useful tools, or plotting a path on a map to find your next destination.

Darkness at the edge of town

The internal logic of all of the puzzles is solid, and the game always provides you with just enough information to solve them. They're not extremely difficult, but finishing one always gives you a warm feeling, like you've actually accomplished something.

Wandering through the house and garden that make up Lume's play space is a mesmerising experience. The world is created out of cardboard, and it gives the game a strange tone that's very much its own.

A gorgeous soundtrack weaves its way through your adventure, and perfectly captures the mood of the piece. Lume isn't a taxing game. It's a laidback point-and-click stroll through a unique and intriguing landscape, split up by moments of interaction and problem-solving.


It's not without flaws, though. Quite often tapping on the screen does nothing, and the cardboard creations that house clues and puzzles aren't always distinct enough. There's no auto-saving, either, and it's easy to forget to manually save your progress.

The lack of content is disappointing. You'll have finished everything the game has to offer within an hour, and while it's an entertaining hour the promise of more to come at a later date isn't the greatest reward for completing all of the puzzles.

State of Play has built a sweet, old-fashioned adventure game with a unique style that hints at greatness to come. Lume shines brightly in the sometimes staid atmosphere of the App Store, and its cardboard visuals are a joy.

Judging a game by its looks is wrong, but if you feel like doing it Lume is every bit as charming and endearing as your judgement might suggest. Just don't expect to play in its world for very long.

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