LUNA The Shadow Dust (PC) Review
Amazing hand-drawn graphics.
Centralized puzzles with non-inventory based solutions
Clunky and excessive interactions
A magical tower in the sky, hidden from view, secrets buried inside. A lost child, a determined hero, a wrong that must be righted. A furry beast, a magical assistant, a friendship that will last forever. LUNA – The Shadow Dust offers a glimpse into a magical world that is both beautiful and dangerous. Leading players through a unique tale of events past and future challenges.
Luna is a point-and-click adventure that has players climbing a mystical tower room by room. Progression requires solving a unique centralized puzzle in each room, whose solutions are not inventory-based but instead are found by using the unique features of each room. The puzzles offer a challenge without being too frustrating, avoiding obtuse solutions common to this genre.
Unfortunately, what is frustrating is not in finding the answer but in how to accomplish that answer. The lack of visual cues that tell you what is and isn’t possible, and the fact that options for specific interactions only make themselves available when you are in set locations, means more is accomplished by guessing than by actual problem-solving. The next major fault is excessive user interaction. It appears that player-actions are built in a series of layers, which as mentioned, limits your choices based on location but also means that these layers hinder movement. As an example, you can’t just click to exit the room: first, you have to click to jump down from the ledge, and then you can move to exit.
Luna is a gorgeously animated tale, set to an elegant soundtrack, and entirely told without words.
The hand-drawn backgrounds and animation make this more like a storybook than an adventure game. While the choice to abandon a verbal script means there isn’t a language to overcome. That being said, part of what makes this genre fun and interesting is the ability to explore the world around you, to explore the inside jokes and descriptions that are not necessarily important to the storyline. Luna’s unique and magical world seems to be currently trapped behind glass, which is a little disappointing.
Luna -The Shadow Dust is a worthy addition to the adventure genre. It’s a delightful tale of mystery and wonder, supported by strong hand-drawn graphics and a stylish soundtrack. While it does suffer from a clunky interface and limited gameplay, what content it does provide is definitely worth playing.