LunarLux: An 8-Bit/Manga Mashup in Space Video Game Worth Checking Out

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After learning about the explosively successful Kickstarter campaign behind LunarLux, by Freedom Games, I am happy to report that my playtest of the game at Dreamhack Atlanta very much validates the hype. I played about half an hour of the game, only dying once in the first battle that sent me back to the start again, but I think I got a pretty good experience of the gameplay, story, and more that I can tell you about.

The first thing that caught my interest was the fantastic blending of art styles with both 8-bit animation and manga character art in the game. Dialogue and story are no small part of this game and it seems the team behind the game have put a lot of effort into not just creating beautiful and expressive manga-style characters, but have doubled and tripled up on that effort by drawing many different expressions for Bella and the other characters of the game as they express a variety of different emotions through their dialogue. The dialogue itself is also incredibly well-written, and I was immediately hooked into the story and the conflict that are presented right at the start of the game.

As for the game outside of dialogue, the 8-bit environments are fun to walk and fly around in, the movement is fluid and free of bugs or lag, and the turn-based fight sequences give you diverse and impactful options for fighting space baddies. The first fight, in which I died on my first attempt, was against a Hyperbee, which I eventually learned could be dodged or blocked with timing the proper use of movement or shield. That adds a bit of fun for me, personally, seeing as many of the essentially timeless, reactionless turn-based games of the same type can feel too rigid and non-interactive at times, in my opinion. Just that little extra excitement goes a long way for me.

The guns and other weapon options in the game presented in the combat system provided a lot of fun options right off the bat, and I can only expect those options to expand later in the game, which should keep things interesting as the game goes on. Exploration and other interaction in the game was cut a bit short due to my limited time but still seemed intriguing, and I look forward to the launch of the full game so I can really dig into what the team at Freedom Games is putting together with the world(s) they’re building here.

Overall, LunarLux looks to be shaping up into a great game and if you’re one of the many backers on the Kickstarter, I think you have plenty of reason to be excited for the expected launch late next year.


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