The spirit of Commodore 64 adventuring lives on in Lumo


The isometric perspective in games doesn’t mean what it used to. Nowadays, we call just about any action RPG played from an overhead, ever-so-slightly-tilted perspective ‘isometric’, which is technically correct – but back in the day, isometric games were almost like their own distinct genre. These adventures utilized the perspective to simulate 3D space with 2D sprites, with your character hopping around clearly defined tiles of movement in their quest to explore massive dungeons. What started on the ZX Spectrum with Knight Lore led to the wizardry of Solstice on the NES and unique obscurities like Equinox on Super Nintendo. In the decades since, that old-school adventuring spirit inherent to isometric views seems to have faded – but Lumo is poised to bring it all back in blowout of old, old-school nostalgia.

Headed to PS4, Xbox One, Vita, and PC, Lumo follows the adventures of an adorable little tyke (boy or girl, your choice doesn’t affect gameplay) as they find themselves trapped within a ridiculously spacious castle and in need of a way out. By ‘spacious’, I mean that there are more than 400 rooms to explore, the majority of which contain some form of deathtrap or obstacle that requires tricky platforming prowess to overcome. Lumo is the brainchild of developer Gareth Noyce, who went indie after working on games like Fable 2 and the first two Crackdown titles; it was the 1987 isometric game Head over Heels that inspired him to take up development in the first place, so Lumo is Noyce’s love letter to that entire era of bygone games.