Puzzle games are probably one of my favorite video game genres. There is something surprisingly satisfying about playing a good puzzle game. A good puzzle game should keep you interested with good puzzle design and enough difficulty to keep you challenged. Originally released back in 2020, Lumote: The Mastermote Chronicles recently got an upgrade to coincide with its console releases. I never checked out the game when it originally came out. I was intrigued by it though where I wanted to check it out. Lumote: The Mastermote Chronicles is a fun and interesting little puzzle game that fans of the genre will likely really enjoy even if it may not be for everyone.
In Lumote: The Mastermote Chronicles you play as Lumote, a bioluminescent creature. The game takes place in the Great Depths. Everything has been peaceful in the Great Depths until one day everything changes. In order to restore the world Lumote must master the use of its abilities to defeat the Mastermote.
Lumote: The Mastermote Chronicles is billed as a puzzle platformer. In my opinion is it more of a puzzle game than a platformer. There is some platforming in the game, but it feels like more of a supplementary mechanic to the puzzle elements. Some puzzles utilize the platforming more than others, but they are mostly used to reach certain sections of the puzzle. The platforming is fun enough. If you were hoping it would be a major element of the game though, you may be disappointed.
Lumote: The Mastermote Chronicles is a puzzle game to its very core. The game is basically a set of interconnected puzzles. The goal of each puzzle is to light up a series of nodes/flowers/etc. When you light them all up the gate/door to the next puzzle will open.
To help you with this task you can interact with a number of creatures which will help you. One creature will hold a charge and can power other things in the environment if it sits on them. This creature can only move if you are top of it though, and it can’t jump at all. Thus the key to solving most of the puzzles is figuring out how to get these creatures to the nodes that you have to power.
As you advance in the game you will encounter other types of creatures. Each of these have their own uses to help you in your journey. Much of the puzzle design is built around trying to figure out how to use all of these different creatures together.
On the surface Lumote: The Mastermote Chronicles’ puzzles seem rather straightforward. The areas that you have to activate are generally pretty obvious. You can explore the puzzle area and see everything you have to accomplish right away. The puzzle design comes from how you do that. While you can temporarily activate these areas yourself, you need to keep them lit up so you can move through the gate to the next puzzle. Thus you need to figure out how to use all of the creatures available to you to accomplish this.
With Lumote: The Mastermote Chronicles mostly being a puzzle game, its success was mostly going to rely on the puzzle design. For the most part I think it is quite good. The general premise of each puzzle doesn’t really change throughout the game. What you have to do to accomplish that task though can change quite a bit.
I think the game’s puzzle design succeeds because it does a good job tweaking the premise to keep things fresh. The game does a really good job at adding new elements at a good pace. When the game adds a new mechanic it has a few simpler puzzles to introduce it. The mechanic is then added to your repertoire allowing future puzzles to be more complicated. The game does a good job adding in new mechanics, while also finding new interesting ways of using mechanics that you have already learned. While the puzzles share similar elements, the game does a good job utilizing them in unique ways where the game remains interesting throughout.
As for the puzzles’ difficulty, I would say that it fits into the light to moderately difficult category. I play quite a few puzzle games so I may have found the game a little easier than others. The game generally does a good job finding the right balance between being hard enough to challenge you, while not being so difficult that it becomes frustrating.
I figured out most of the puzzles pretty quickly as there was a pretty obvious solution that I just had to execute. There were some puzzles that really made me think though. Lumote: The Mastermote Chronicles does a good job forcing you to use things learned in previous puzzles in unique new ways. While it may not be the most challenging puzzle game, it succeeds at giving you a sense of accomplishment when you solve the most complicated puzzles.
When it comes to puzzle games, the atmosphere is generally an afterthought. I was genuinely impressed by the visuals of Lumote: The Mastermote Chronicles. The game takes place in a “alien” world which has a unique design. The main character is really cute. The game does a great job utilizing color with the various bioluminescent elements. Possibly the most interesting element of the visual design is that the entire game is visual when you first start the game. All of the puzzles are literally interconnected so if you look around, you can see the puzzles you have already completed and which you have left to complete. This is quite impressive especially since the game runs well.
As for Lumote: The Mastermote Chronicles length, it is going to depend a lot on how quick you solve the puzzles. Most of the puzzles won’t take very long if you can figure out how to solve them. There will be puzzles that you can solve really quickly, and then there will be others that take quite a bit longer. If I had to make a guess for how long the game will take, I would guess that it would take most players around 4-6 hours. Some could take a little longer while others may finish it quicker if they solve the puzzles really quickly.
In general I got quite a bit of enjoyment out of Lumote: The Mastermote Chronicles. I wish the platforming mechanics played a bigger role in the game, but it is a fun puzzle game. It probably won’t appeal to those who don’t really care for puzzle games, but fans of the genre should enjoy their time with it.
Probably the biggest issue I had with Lumote: The Mastermote Chronicles is the controls and depth perception. For the most part the controls work quite well. The game only utilizes a few controls and they are really straightforward. The game is responsive. I think the platforming mechanics could have been a little better though. Sometimes I would press the button and it didn’t seem to initiate a jump as quickly as I expected. Otherwise based on the environment, it is sometimes hard to judge where a ledge is leading to some failed jumps. Usually this isn’t a big issue as the platforming is pretty easy. There are occasional puzzles that require pretty precise jumps though, and this is where it becomes kind of annoying.
While I thought the atmosphere was quite good, the story of Lumote: The Mastermote Chronicles is nothing special. In fact there really isn’t even much of a story to the game. Basically the story revolves around you trying to save your world. The game never really delves into the story though, and at times you might even forget that it has one.
The final issue I had with Lumote: The Mastermote Chronicles is that there are some occasional bugs/issues that hinder the game. None of the bugs are game breaking as they are more of a nuisance. Occasionally during the game there were elements of the puzzles that just didn’t work properly. You can also occasionally softlock a puzzle where you can no longer solve it. It is not always obvious that there is something wrong with the puzzle. If you should ever get stuck in one of these situations though, you should just reset the puzzle as that seems to fix most of the issues.
While Lumote: The Mastermote Chronicles is considered a puzzle platformer, it relies considerably more on its puzzle elements. The platforming feels like more of a complimentary mechanic. Despite this, I thought the game was quite good. The premise of the puzzles is quite simple and doesn’t really change, but it just works. There is a good ramp up of difficulty and it does a really good job mixing and matching mechanics to keep the gameplay fresh. The puzzle design is the game’s greatest asset. There is enough challenge to the puzzles to keep you interested, while not being so difficult that it becomes frustrating. The game has some minor control issues and some occasional bugs, but they don’t significantly hurt the experience. The story may be barely present, but the visuals are quite good for a puzzle game.
Ultimately my recommendation comes down to your thoughts on puzzle games and the overall premise. If you aren’t a fan of puzzle games, I don’t see it being the game for you. Fans of puzzle games that find the premise at least somewhat interesting though will likely really enjoy Lumote: The Mastermote Chronicles and should really consider checking it out.
Lumote: The Mastermote Chronicles
Release Date: April 21st, 2022 | Systems: Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Developer: Luminawesome Games Ltd | Publisher: Wired Productions | ESRB Rating: Everyone
Genres: Indie, Platformer, Puzzle
Official Website: https://www.luminawesome.com/lumote/
- A fun and interesting puzzle game.
- Great puzzle design that finds the right difficulty level.
- Has some minor bugs and control issues at times.
- There really isn’t much to the game’s story.
Recommendation: For fans of puzzle games that find the premise interesting.
We at Geeky Hobbies would like to thank Luminawesome Games Ltd and Wired Productions for the review copy of Lumote: The Mastermote Chronicles used for this review. Other than receiving a free copy of the game to review, we at Geeky Hobbies received no other compensation for this review. Receiving the review copy for free had no impact on the content of this review or the final score.