Kumo Lumo iPad Review
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It's fair to say that mobile gamers get the short end of the stick when it comes to gaming surprises, with timid, refined versions of existing titles dominating the App Store. Kumo Lumo is different though. Very different, in fact. Here you play the part of an omnipotent cloud who hovers above a beautifully rendered planet, manipulating the terrain with rain showers that can raise mountains, create life, and cause forests to blossom.
Sadly, he's not alone and this airborne eco-warrior needs to protect the planet from the invading enemies who want to burn down the forests and mountain ranges that you've so carefully nurtured. You've got two key tools to achieve this with: the rain shower which is started by tapping on Kumo, and the thunderbolt which fries enemies and is accessible from an icon at the top of the screen.
A finger swipe rotates the planet beneath you, while Kumo himself can be moved around the currently visible area by pushing him with a finger-tip. This helps you to gather up the clouds that are so essential to topping up your rain meter, or just getting into the exact position for putting out a forest fire.
While the three-star rating for each level encourages you to grow and expand the entire planet as much as possible, you'll also be tasked with completing objectives that depend on inter-play between different elements of the game. If you need to collect 20 sheep for example, then you'll need to raise plenty of mountain ranges which spawn the animals.
If you have your heart set on maxing out every upgrade available, then you'll most likely need to head to the in-app purchase store that this free game depends upon for its profit. We'd have happily paid a purchase price to bypass this, but the developer's at least refreshingly honest in laying out how many upgrades the different coin packs will get you. We also never suffered in the game for want of a more powerful lightning bolt or rain shower.
It's not often we get to play a game like Kumo Lumo. It's highly original, rewarding and playful. Even the occasional rough edge (such as the repetitive character voicing) can't take the shine off what is an extraordinarily fresh direction for mobile gaming. A very fine start to the week indeed.
What's Hot: Original gameplay that's beautifully crafted and will entertain for hours.
What's Not: It'll take you a while to get used to the controls, and Kumo's speech is a little repetitive.