Lums may collect some criticism for taking after Angry Birds’s premise. Like Angry Birds, it’s a physics based game of death, except now you’re smashing wooden and stone buildings to slay the undead. While this sounds like an Angry Birds clone, Lums quickly stakes that claim through the heart with its own style and mechanics, and it shines for it.
The world of Lums is dense with darkness in which the vampires revel. All is not bleak, however, as certain creatures known as Lums work to hunt the vampires. While they’re not up to Belmont snuff, they certainly possess the buffy to be their own breed of slayers.
The vampires are only susceptible to light. There are only a few light sources in levels; however, the light is spectacularly luminous despite how much the vampires coffined the world in darkness. I couldn’t help but stare at the wonderful contrast between light and shadow—even watching the vampires burn a slow, tortuous death was magnetizing. Expect to become frequently lost in the darkness–in a good way.
The vampires only have a poor understanding of basic construction to protect themselves. Most of their buildings consist of brick, stone, and glass among other materials. Despite this, the buildings are able to provide enough sun screen to break the remaining dawn. Also, vampires have acquired laser-barrier assets for some reason—I suppose these vampires are more progressive-thinking than the rest. However, they do serve as the deadliest caution-tape ever, forcing the Lums to maneuver carefully. Fortunately, the touch-controls are perfectly smooth; players just simply drag the Lums through their desired path, and they can even fling them if necessary. Players will always have control, unlike in Angry Birds. While the flinging takes a little while to get used to, I had no problems guiding the Lums through narrow passages , which is great considering I have to collect three stars in order to master a level.
This just leaves the challenges of navigating said laser barriers, and exploiting the correct structural weaknesses of the vampires’ castlevanias. Each of the Lums has its own power. For instance, one behaves like a cannon ball; another can change gravity of objects; one can serve as an extra light source-and pass through glass; and a couple of Lums can change the substance of materials. Players don’t get to choose when to use each Lum. The game provides a certain number and type of Lums to be used in a predetermined order. Each of the powers are interesting and even allow some leeway for experimentation. For instance, the Lum that provides the light source can be placed at a variety of angles—even the ground—and can move through certain objects. Mastery of the game depends on how efficiently you use each Lum while collecting all three stars. Any Harker can waltz in and slay all the vampires—it takes a true Belmont to willingly test their helsing.
Lums is an excellently crafted game, and I only have the most minor of complaints. The story panels provide background for the story; however, the style isn’t as captivating as the in-game levels. Vampire models also seem bland and lack variety, though they’re soon to be forgotten after they’re burned to a ultra-violet crisp. Speaking of darkness, while the light effects are dazzling, the background remains largely the same, which is common for these types of games; however, I still wish that the background would alter slightly between level-sets while retaining the stifling darkness. That said I’ve always focused more on the challenges at hand. Lastly, Lums doesn’t have a lot of levels-only 3 sets of levels, each containing 16 levels. The developers do promise new updates, though. The fantastic puzzles and lighting effects, however, masks any taste of garlic.
Lums costs $0.99 on the app-store, and it comes with in-app purchases. Players have the option of using real currency to buy nukes— it’s still undetermined if they’re more cost-effective than holy water—and the remaining level sets, should they choose not to unlock them the old fashioned way. All of these are meant to help if players become stuck. Nukes, which are available for free in limited quantity, are capable of ending the curse of darkness. Simply beating each level isn’t enough to make it to the next set of levels, as I had to collect enough stars to unlock the rest of them (three in total). It is a little unfair to charge players two more dollars despite claiming that the full version only costs $0.99; however, keep in mind that simply playing to beat a level isn’t challenging or rewarding. Players will spend lot time trying to master the game’s physics while collecting all three stars per level in just the first set alone.
Lums may not appeal to players who already had no interest in Angry Birds; however, it only borrows the basic setup—Lums is without a doubt its own game and doesn’t need to borrow the Vampire Killer. So if you’re looking for more variety in your Angry Birds, then try Lums for only $0.99.
This review for Lums is based on a digital copy for the iPhone which was paid for out-of-pocket.