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Kumo Lumo Review

By , on October 12, 2012


Kumo Lumo
Download on the AppStore
3 out of 5

PROS

  • Vibrant scrap-book-like world; friendly and engaging from the moment you load it up.
  • Variety of control options; all relatively simple to pick up and use - pairs with the basic gameplay neatly.
  • Interesting core concept; use your powers to save or destroy life on the planet.

CONS

  • Repetitive gameplay further exacerbated by expensive upgrades; IAP doesn't really add to the gameplay - it simply make life easier.

VERDICT

Kumo Lumo may be a gorgeous game with a unique premise, but the slow pacing and always looming 'shop' detract from the game's otherwise friendly, air of casualness.


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The humble cloud is not often considered a harbinger of war or an avatar of suffering, but in the land of Kumo Lumo you play the almost perpetually smiling angel of death. Wait? No one else got that vibe? You mean it's just a cutesy light-action title with lots of grinding? No matter how you play it, Chillingo and Blitz Games' latest certainly has an interesting concept.

The basic gameplay goes a little like this: The world below Kumo can be scrolled along with a swipe. Kumo himself can be repositioned by dragging him around, while tapping him will result in a spritz of rain shooting down the the ground below. This is ostensibly meant to be used to 'grow' various objects in the world, from forests to mountains and even sheep, but its alternative use is more insidious. Aliens have invaded and they're entirely averse to rain water, so it's up to you to dump down on them to prevent them burning down the planet.

However there's a catch. You only have a limited amount of rain to dispense, and if you're hit while empty you will disperse, ending the stage. Later on you'll gain an always-charging lightning strike, though it too is very limited in its use. This can be offset thanks to upgrades in the store, but this is where the freemium hook kicks in.

See, you need coins for upgrades and these only occasionally appear when growing objects in the world. Even worse, if you're not quick you can miss it entirely. With later stages seriously ramping up the requirements to pass them, and with the alien creatures becoming all the more prevalent the longer you're on a stage, you'll really want those upgrades to stay alive.

Given that the early stages act more as an extended tutorial, it's a nasty bait and switch to deal with. All of a sudden that relaxing, beautifully rendered scrap-book world looks like the pages of a demonic scroll, with its smiling demon taunting you to keep grinding away for those elusive upgrades.

Kumo Lumo is still worth a shot, especially as there's no investment required, and you may even be lucky enough to enjoy its (initially) laid-back approach.

Screenshots

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