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Isometric arcade adventure Lumo arrives on PS4 & PS Vita next month

Creator Gareth Noyce’s love-letter to the classics of the 1980s

Hello there! I’m Gareth Noyce, the developer of Lumo, an isometric arcade adventure game that’s coming soon to PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita.

“Isometric arcade adventure game? What’s that, then?!” Well, I’m glad you asked! Back in the mid ’80s – when computers made beeping sounds and colour TVs were wheeled into your home from the back of a Radio Rentals lorry (i.e. moving vehicle) – 3D was a bit tricky, so clever programmers used to fake it using isometric projection. You’d explore their worlds, room by room, completing the odd puzzle along the way, and engage in some proto-platforming gameplay. Simple stuff by today’s standards, but massively popular and often stunning to look at back then. In fact, the isometric craze spawned some stone cold classics – games that are fondly remembered to this day: Knight Lore, Head Over Heels, Amaurote, Chimera, Solstice & Equinox, to name just a few!

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One of these games – Head Over Heels – was the first game that I ever owned. It had a massive effect on 10-year-old me, so much so that I used to scribble down ideas for new rooms on paper! In a sense, it started me down the path of becoming a game developer, so when the opportunity to make my own game came around – spurred on by Ste Pickford, co-developer of some of the best isometric games ever made (a few of which are in that list up there) – it seemed like too good an idea to pass up!

If only I’d kept those scribbled room ideas from when I was a kid, though…

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Lumo (Finnish for ‘enchantment’) isn’t a remake of those classic 8-bit games – instead, it’s my attempt to answer, ‘what would those games be like today?’ We can do things with physics, light and sound that just weren’t possible back then, not to mention being able to auto save (!), so Lumo smooths off some of those old-school edges and brings the genre bang up-to-date.

It’s a much bigger game than its predecessors, clocking in at nearly 450 rooms split across four different zones, including secret paths, tons of hidden rooms, ducks to rescue, coins to collect & spend, and six mini-games to find and unlock!

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It’s not just about getting from start to-finish – instead, it’s going to reward your exploration skills. Try and jump out of rooms and bend the game mechanics. Who knows, maybe you’ll be the first person to find all the cassettes and complete the mini-games? If you do, be sure to try it against the clock in Old School Mode, Lumo‘s Time Trial set-up.

I’ve had so much fun making Lumo over the last two years that it’s turned into a bit of a love letter to gaming in the ’80s, capturing the feelings I had as a wide-eyed 10-year-old falling in love with his first computer game.

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Retro-gamers will chuckle at some of the references to ’80s magazines and developers that I’ve snuck in – keep your eyes open! – while players new to these games will be able to experience a fresh, modern take on a genre that’s just as fun today as it was 30 years ago. (But if you decide to scribble down your own ideas for new rooms, please take a photo of them and upload them to the cloud. You never know when they’ll come in handy!)

Lumo will be available (with Cross-Buy) for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita on 22nd April 2016.

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Comments

22 Comments 0 Author replies
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iSabreman 30 March, 2016 @ 2:11 pm   1

Day one buy ! Good luck with the release, hope it goes well.

 
squiddycr4 30 March, 2016 @ 2:19 pm   2

3D Ant Attack!

 
LordRastan 30 March, 2016 @ 2:26 pm   3

great way of making a tribute game but not being lazy!!!! (tired of pixels everywhere!) it seems a perfect game for my vita, you truly have a new customer!!! That zaxxon and marble madness tributes are worth alone the purchase.

I hope we will get more games from you in the near future on our Vita’s.

Thanks and keep with your superb work!

     
    Carnivius_Prime 30 March, 2016 @ 3:55 pm    

    Decent pixel art isn’t lazy. It requires skill and time and patience… Something like Shantae for example is quality.

HomessaHomem 30 March, 2016 @ 2:30 pm   4

Great news for my Vita!

 
DrThumpy 30 March, 2016 @ 2:42 pm   5

I’ve been fortunate to have played a few of the early builds through development so my appetite had been thoroughly wetted. I completed my first full play through of the release version last night and can’t wait to give it another go to find all the bits I missed first time around.

It’s a cracking game, so many nods back to everything I loved about gaming as a kid. Honestly, don’t even hesitate to buy it the moment it’s available on sale, you won’t regret it.

 
kellamity 30 March, 2016 @ 3:10 pm   6

The developers story alone makes me want to play it.

Drawing game levels on paper as a kid is what inspired me to pursue a career as a developer (with a degree in games dev, but no masterpieces being released from me anytime soon, unfortunately.)

I wonder how much it will be?

 
Goffeentl 30 March, 2016 @ 3:35 pm   7

So looking forward to this. Hope the engine can be open sourced at some point to allow others to get creative and build a new generation of isometric games.

 
warensembler83 30 March, 2016 @ 3:36 pm   8

New games for the Vita are always good news ^^ Can’t wait to try it out.

AgentChaos 30 March, 2016 @ 4:09 pm   9

Nice nods to Zaxxon, Marble Madness and Atic Atac. This is the way to do ‘retro’ well, rather than some of the 8-bit pixellated disasters that have recently appeared, especially on the Vita. Looking forward to it.

 
dlangdale187 30 March, 2016 @ 6:22 pm   10

Awesome guys I had the same experience when I was 10, I got my first Amstrad 464 cpc and a copy of head over heels couldn’t put it down. I have always wondered why someone hasn’t made games like this until now. Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂 wil be getting that on release

Aces73High 30 March, 2016 @ 7:13 pm   11

Day one buy for me! Thanks for bringing Lumo to Vita, too! :0)

 
P4NCH0theD0G 30 March, 2016 @ 7:41 pm   12

Good luck. Zaxxxon was my first ever video game (on the old Coleco Vision thingee, along with Wargames :D). And since my older brother always “disciplined” me for trying to play Wonderboy on his C64… well, lots of fond memories (Of playing Zaxxxon. Not my brother).

And Vita games are always welcome.

 
Sobtanian 30 March, 2016 @ 7:43 pm   13

You had me at Head Over Heels.

Day one purchase.

 
flatspikes 30 March, 2016 @ 9:17 pm   14

Looks awesome and defo buy for the Vita!

 
MaxDiehard 30 March, 2016 @ 9:27 pm   15

The hand drawn art style of the header made me interested until I saw the bland 3D level screenshots. I would have much preferred the game in the style of the header image.

     
    Ryusennin 31 March, 2016 @ 1:41 am    

    I’m a massive isometric fan (my first poisons were Knight Lore and Fairlight), and I totally agree with you. The header artwork looks great, but the generic polygon engine turns me completely off.

 
infernalmonkey1 31 March, 2016 @ 12:50 am   16

Really excited about this one ever since the initial trailer. Will it be released in Australia? Cheers

 
Such-A-Goonie 31 March, 2016 @ 7:47 am   17

Head Over Heals Kreygasm

I’ve played that so much on my MSX back in the day. I’ll definitely pick this up!

 
PureNomad 3 April, 2016 @ 1:53 am   18

That lead character looks so much like He-Mans Orko.

 
enrickuranium 3 April, 2016 @ 7:57 am   19

Knight Lore was, and to some degree still is, one of the best games ever, on any platform…looking forward to this, great work!

 
CoolRichy007UK 4 April, 2016 @ 2:42 pm   20

Day 0 buy