Luna: The Shadow Dust is a point and click puzzle game developed by Lantern Studio after a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2016. It released on Steam, GOG and other stories on 13th February 2020 at an RRP of £16.99. It’s compatible with Windows, Mac and Linux, which is always nice to see. The publisher provided me with a review key via the Steam Curator Connect system. You can visit my Steam Curator here for my reviews within the steam client.
Luna: The Shadow Dust is a point and click puzzle game in which we control two characters which work together, a boy (Luna) and a weird dog-like creature, to progress up the floors of a mysterious tower with an exotic, gorgeous hand-drawn aesthetic.
Each level represents a unique puzzle / escape room set against a beautiful, hand-drawn background. The art is incredibly talented and has amazing detail, with a clever focus on light and shadow play. There was always something small that caught me by surprise, even just looking at the screenshots makes me realize there were small details that I missed. The story is in these details, for you to extrapolate and imagine, for there’s no dialogue or text in the entire game. I’m just utterly charmed by the art from start to finish.
Behind the veil of reality, lies an enchanted world. When the world lost its balance, it fell upon a boy to take on an unexpected journey. Until the moon rises again, the order of the world will not be restored. One cannot go back in time to correct his mistake.
Whatever happened is irreversible…or is it?
The puzzles are logic and detail orientated puzzles, following the tried and tested methods of point and click adventure games. You need to find what you can interact with on the level and then try to work out what you’re supposed to do with it. This is mostly working out what order to do things in and I found it mostly an enjoyable and relaxing experience. Not too taxing, but with enough thought involved that I felt satisfied every time I completed a level.
The developers have tried to tell a full story without using any words at all, through dramatic music, twenty minutes of cinematic cutscenes, and these beautiful tower levels. Whilst I think it all looks utterly amazing, I didn’t feel much cohesion or driving drama in terms of the story. As someone who really likes words, I honestly think that a narrator would have improved Luna: The Shadow Dust. The wordless story is a design choice that the developers fully committed to, an interesting concept that wasn’t quite there for me.
Even without really knowing, or caring much about why I was traversing the tower, it was still an awesome and enjoyable journey, so Luna: The Shadow Dust gets a big thumbs up from me.