Mix some paint with your puzzle platforming in Nihilumbra

by Andrew Koziara

Nihilumbra is a puzzle platformer from Beautifun Games. It would definitely qualify as an “art game,” so to speak. Some of the aesthetic and design elements are a bit derivative, but that does not stop this from being a very well made and entertaining puzzle platformer. Definitely don’t judge this app by the cover; it’s quite satisfying.

You play as a simple creature who was randomly born one day before escaping the void into the outside world. The void, however, is not fond of being incomplete, and will stop at nothing to reclaim you, even going so far as to consume most of the world. He sends numerous mindless void creatures your way as enemies, but luckily, you have an edge on them. You find magic flowers that allow you to paint the surface of most platforms with a simple touch. Different colors have different effects, and it all gets quite tricky before the end.

You can play with basic virtual buttons or with tilt controls, and both are good enough. I haven’t seen too many classic genres incorporate painting as a mechanic, but it fits the platform perfectly. Colors include blue ice paint, which lets you speed up or push objects that would otherwise be too heavy, green paint which is bouncy, brown which is sticky, and even more. The game stays fairly easy for the majority of play, but gets really tricky near the climax. The difficulty ramps up significantly quickly, but if you’re willing to tough it out, the game is very satisfying indeed. On top of all this, the art and music are dark and atmospheric, even if similar styles have been done to death, and the story is well written despite some translation errors. Definitely check this one out.

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