The Path to Luma is an amazing puzzle game in every sense of the word. This is quite literally a puzzle game, which is charging the player with manipulating the elements withing its spherical levels to get from A to B, typically before heading straight back again. It is a set up that we have seen time and again on iOS, although usually delivered in a flatter, more 2D focused form.
For The Path to Luma, developer Phosphor Games Studio has partnered up with NRG, a firm that focuses on developing low carbon and essentially clean energy technologies. the basics of The Path to Luma are easy enough to grasp: reviving a planet involves getting to a set location, usually opening up a number of gates as you go.
The puzzles are not really too taxing, opening up an early gate, for example, is a matter of fetching a battery pack, charging it up and then placing it in a holder near said gate in order to power it open. Indeed, the first run of levels focuses on solar energy, planting a ‘solar spear’ in set holsters around the planet and then turning said world on its axis so that the sun powers up the entire surface.
You will also have to traverse bridges over gaps in your path bridges that can be moved into place simply by dragging them and, as stated, open up a number of blockers in your way, but the whole affair is relatively simple. It is almost as if a simple game idea has been picked up from the cutting room floor and married up with a pitch focused on promoting sustainable, clean energy, and the two elements simply are not a good fit.
The Path to Luma’s environmentally friendly theme and then dressed up by a particularly talented visual artist. Shortly, it does not really work, though the game’s big saving grace is that it’s free and without in-app purchase. On those terms, it’d be a little puzzling to complain about its faults all too much.
The Path to Luma is a bit messy, a bit sketchy, a bit patchy. Its puzzle set up never really bonds with its 3D setting, in spite of some really nice elements designed to push clean energy and green issues. All in all, it feels a little bit like a series of compromises that never truly pay off.